“Learning new things is exciting”

Dr Sujoy Das, a laparoscopic surgeon, speaks about his profession and the future of surgery in Goa

Dr Sujoy Das is a practicing laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon. Dr Sujoy and his team were one of the first to start laparoscopic surgery in Goa in 1999.

His centre is the only one in Goa which routinely does single incision key hole surgery also called single port or SILS surgery wherein just a single hole is made for performing the entire surgery.

Dr Sujoy is known for performing the bariatric surgery which is a surgery for obese people wherein through key holes the stomach is reduced in size which is called a sleeve gastrectomy or a gastric bypass surgery where in again through key holes a small stomach pouch is made and joined to a loop of intestine.

He is a life member of the Association of Minimally Invasive Surgeons of India and also a life member of the Indian Association of Gastrointestinal Surgeons.

Dr Sujoy completed his schooling from Regina Mundi High School, Vasco, and later went to MES College. He attained his MBBS from Goa Medical College and his Masters in Surgery. He later went to Bombay where he did his specialization in surgery from Grant Medical College. His father was a physician who inspired Dr Sujoy to follow in his footsteps and become a doctor himself.

Dr Sujoy worked for a few years in Bombay as a lecturer and then went abroad. He always enjoyed learning about medicine, working in hospitals, dealing with various people; and treating them gave him a sense of satisfaction. Dr Sujoy commenced his practice as a laparoscopic surgeon performing such surgeries on pediatric and adult patients. He along with his wife, Dr Judith Da Costa, who were practicing privately, were the first to perform laparoscopic surgeries in 2000 and were the pioneers in Goa, as visiting surgeons from Bombay used to come and do a few such surgeries in Goa. Laparoscopic surgery was very primitive in those days with equipment being rudimentary and doing an appendectomy or a cholecystectomy was considered as an advanced surgical procedure

Dr Sujoy has performed all types of laparoscopic surgeries like gall bladder surgeries, appendectomies, hernia surgery, hiatus hernia surgery for gastro-esophageal reflux, laparoscopic cancer surgery for cancer of colon, rectum, and stomach as well as laparoscopic surgery in children for all types of congenital anomalies.

The most challenging part about his profession Dr Sujoy says is the change and advancement of technology. “Every time new equipment or new kinds of medicine comes out in the market, one has to get accustomed to working with it and it is a never ending learning process. Nowadays surgeries have come a long way. When I started practicing, there was no such thing as laparoscopic surgeries in GMC. It came to Goa much later and it is only recently that GMC has begun undertaking such laparoscopic procedures. I began performing laparoscopic surgeries in 2001 and since then I have learnt various new lessons along the way. You have to keep up with technology and knowledge, re-train yourself, learn about new surgical procedures and I feel this is the most challenging part about modern medicine.”

As far as minimally invasive surgeries and its advancement is concerned, especially in Goa Dr Sujoy says that the State is keeping up with the times. “At one point of time Goa didn’t have many doctors. But today a lot of doctors have gone abroad or out of the State and have come back to set up their own practice or are practicing at various hospitals in Goa. Today, Goa has excellent doctors as compared to fifteen or twenty years ago where people had to go to Bombay or Belgaum to get a major procedure done. We have most of the facilities in Goa today and we have come a long way as far as medicine is concerned. As far as the future of surgeries is concerned, surgery is very technologically dependent. New procedures, medicines as well as gene therapy have entered the medical market. Surgery will always be there but incisions will become smaller, procedures will get modified, machines will become smaller, time taken for surgeries will be a lot lesser and various procedures will become safer than what they are now. This is what I call as progress.”

Learning new things about the medical world is what keeps Dr Sujoy excited. “My profession requires me to un-learn and re-learn a lot of things and that is something I find exciting and interesting.”

Apart from a busy professional life, Dr Sujoy is also an avid cyclist and one of the founder members of Xaxti Riders, the largest cycling club in Goa. He is also an ardent tri-athlete and takes part in many events taking place in Goa and aspires to be an ironman in the coming years.

Dr Sujoy’s wife, Dr Judith is his greatest support. His friends who have studied and worked with him, in India as well as abroad, are his constant source of support and he says that he has learnt a lot from them.

Regarding his future plans Dr Sujoy intends on practicing for another ten years and then retire from the field that gives him much joy and hope

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