Tag Archives: Fatimah Hospital

The Kindest Cut of All



By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen

Given the option to have surgery with a choice of surgeons, I would certainly choose Dr Chan Ching Phing. As consultant General Surgeon in Fatimah Hospital, Dr Chan has only recently left General Hospital Bainun to take up full time consultancy a year ago.

Dr Chan Ching Phing-2

The reason for my choice of Dr Chan as preferred surgeon is due to her one and a half year’s training in the Plastic Surgery department at the General Hospital in Ipoh. Not that I have any actual experience of her operating on me but having had a fair number of surgeries in my past, I have enough scars on my body to qualify for the “Most Scarred For Life” title if there was ever to be a competition. And these are scars not embellished by the specialist touch of a plastic surgeon’s handiwork. Which are always much finer, the stitching, more delicate.

Understandably, the raison d’etre for going to a General Surgeon is not for cosmetic reasons but often for life-saving ones, but it certainly helps to put oneself in the hands of a surgeon who does delicate suturing work as well.

Dr Chan never dreamt of becoming a surgeon. Finishing her medical degree and posted as a houseman at the General Hospital in Ipoh in 1992, she found herself in the Plastic Surgery department and it was here that she developed her passion for surgery.

Dr Chan Ching Phing-1Applying for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) a professional qualification for practising as a surgeon in the British Isles in 1995 saw her passing her first examination with ease and subsequently breezing through Part 1 in 1996 and Part 2 in 1998 soon saw her accredited as a full fledged Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

Further training in Laparoscopic surgery soon established Dr Chan as one of the few laparoscopic surgeons in Ipoh, performing minimally invasive surgery, bandaid surgery, or keyhole surgery, which is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions as opposed to the larger incisions needed in laparotomy. This technique is ideal for gall bladder removal (known as cholecystectomy), or appendix surgery.

Other surgeries commonly performed by Dr Chan include Hernioplasty which require repair of the abdominal wall or repair of inguinal hernias more commonly found in men, which occurs when tissue pushes through a weak spot in the groin muscle. This causes a bulge in the groin or scrotum that may hurt or burn.

But her true sub-specialty as a General Surgeon is in breast surgery where most of her current workload is focused. “Actually, the correct person to manage breast cancer is the General Surgeon, together with the Oncologist of course. While the detection of breast lumps may come from any physician or specialist especially the gynaecologist, the decisions on removal and subsequent management rest with the surgeon in consultation with the oncologist.”

“Breast Cancer can be localised or systemic and the treatment options will vary depending on the diagnosis. I prefer a conservative approach, always recommending a lumpectomy (removal of the breast lumps or lumps) first and only as a last resort, a total mastectomy” she added.

When asked what she thought of Superstar Angelina Jolie’s double breast mastectomy as a breast cancer preventive due to finding a specific gene indicative of a tendency towards breast cancer, Dr Chan said,  “ I think she is very brave, not just to be able to live long enough to see her children grow up but to tell the whole world about herself losing her breasts (one of GOD’s greatest creation for a woman). By doing so she can actually help many women to face their disease and continue to live normally. Bravo Angelina! I give her a big salute.”

One of the principal precepts of medical ethics which is taught in all medical schools is that of “Primum non nocere” or “First Do no Harm”. Given that a General Surgeon’s primary task is to perform invasive surgery, Dr Chan finds herself walking a constant tightrope between recommending invasive surgery or leaving a medical condition well alone and prescribing palliative treatment instead. Judging by the number of happy patients treated by Dr Chan, is testimony to the fact that she walks that tightrope very well.

To contact Dr Chan Ching Phing:
CP Chan Surgery, Hospital Fatimah, Suite 11 (Grd flr)
Tel: 05 548 9098

Swollen Red Eyes – Conjunctivitis?


Dr. S.S. Gill, Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist, Fatimah Hospital

In our series on Eye Health, Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S.S. Gill talks to us about conjunctivitis.

You rub your eyes, but they won’t stop feeling uncomfortable and appear red as well as puffy. Your eyes don’t hurt, but the discomfort is annoying as it feels like you have an eyelash or a speck of sand in your eye.  Later on in the day you start developing yellow discharge. If you have these symptoms, it may likely be a common eye problem called conjunctivitis, better known as pinkeye.

What Is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva which is the thin, clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid. It is one of the most common eye infections and may start in one eye and then spread to the other eye.  It usually lasts only a short time, mostly for about a week or less with proper treatment. However, there are some varieties of conjunctivitis that may be prolonged and may need specialized treatment. Conjunctivitis can also be caused by irritants such as shampoos (causing chemical conjunctivitis), as well as pollen and dust (allergic conjunctivitis) or improper prolonged contact lens wear.

Types of Conjunctivitis

Pink eye is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection. These types of conjunctivitis are contagious and you can get infected by contact – simply by touching the hand of a friend who has just touched his or her infected eyes. If you then touch your eyes, the infection can spread to you. The other way it can spread is by touching contaminated articles like door handles, arm-rests of chairs, and the sharing of towels with anyone who has conjunctivitis. And no, it does not spread by looking at a person with conjunctivitis.

The symptoms of pinkeye may include some or all of the following:

Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelids ; Increased amount of tears or discharge;thick discharge that has dried over the eyelashes, especially in the mornings after sleep; itchy and/or burning eyes; blurred vision; Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia).

Treating Conjunctivitis

As there are various types of causes for conjunctivitis, you should visit your doctor to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.  Antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. If the cause is viral, you will need to be patient as it may take a few weeks to settle. There would be a need for your doctor to look out for any complications that may occur during this time.

Contact lens wearers may contract conjunctivitis if they have been careless in handling their contact lenses or are sensitive to the multipurpose solutions.  You may find the following tips useful should you ever suffer from conjunctivitis: Avoid the use of eye makeup and do not wear contact lenses; Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes; Wash your hands frequently with soap and water to avoid spreading it; Don’t share common items such as towels, blankets and sunglasses.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.