Lessening of trauma and post-operative pain in patients, as well as reducing working hours and even costs will be some of the benefits resulting from the creation of the first Oral Microsurgery Center in Latin America, a project developed by the Universidad de la Frontera (UFRO), located in Temuco, Region of Araucanía in south-central Chile.
The implementation of the modern facilities that will be equipped with revolutionary surgical technology will be assisted by Dr. Wilfried Engelke, a scientist from the Georg August University in Göttingen. Dr. Engelke’s visit to the university took place within the framework of the Regional Competition to Attract Advanced Foreign Human Capital promoted by Conicyt, Chile’s science and technology commission, and the German academic exchange service DAAD.
“Dr. Engelke’s sojourn is a manifestation of our desire to strengthen bonds with top-level universities in the area of research, such as the mentioned German institution. This will allow us to work together with renowned world researchers here in Araucanía and thus develop several lines of study, among them oral microsurgery for Latin America”, explained Dr. Ramón Fuentes, in charge of the project.
Among the benefits that this pioneering center in the region will provide patients are less trauma as a result of oral surgery and a more comfortable recovery. This is achieved through a technique that will open “a future field, because it provides surgical alternatives to techniques that were previously much more traumatic, giving the surgeon a comprehensive view of the ailment without need to cut into tissue”, indicated Engelke.
“This also assists the patient, because microsurgery will avoid the need to make incisions in gums, which necessarily involves trauma. Thus, endoscopy will make it possible to access the tooth through a small hole and reduce the trauma, with less resulting discomfort, pain and swelling”, the specialist added.
As a first step to set the project in motion, the university will train several professionals with the aim of beginning to operate in 2011. It is hoped that in the course of that year the first surgical procedures will be carried out and that it will be possible to provide attention to the general public.
The process will also receive the support of the German company Storz, which made an endoscope available for this year. This unit is already in place at the university. “The endoscope costs 30,000 dollars and is a wonderful contribution for us. We will also be equipped with all the necessary instruments to work inside the oral cavity, using a technology developed by Engelke himself”, stated Dr. Fuentes.
In addition to Chile, other countries including Germany itself, the United States and South Korea have received Dr. Engelke’s technical assistance in implementing this system.
In recent times the Chilean universities have made major progress in the fields of medicine and science. Prominent among the research conducted is the work of professionals from the Universidad de Chile, who developed a therapy to combat the effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.