South Coast residents are increasingly enjoying the availability of medical and surgical services that used to only exist in the larger cities. An example of this was when local Urologist Dr. Pieter de Bruin performed the region’s first nephrectomy (the surgical removal of a kidney) at the Hibiscus Private Hospital in Port Shepstone.
Dr. de Bruin, originally from Pretoria, explains that there are two types of nephrectomies that he performs, simple and radical. “A simple nephrectomy is the removal of only the kidney from the body due to such ailments as recurring infection or poor functioning, while a radical nephrectomy is required when there is a tumor within the kidney and both the kidney and surrounding tissue and often the adrenal gland too must be removed.”
Particularly pleased that it brings this needed service right to the area’s doorstep, Dr. de Bruin says that it makes the surgical experience so much more convenient for patients and their loved ones to be able to check in to a local hospital. “There’s obviously emotional stress that both the patient and their family members go through during surgery and I’ve found this is generally reduced when they’re in a local surroundings and don’t have to deal with travel and accommodation in another area.”
As far as telltale signs that the kidney needs medical attention, Dr. de Bruin says such problems are notoriously asymptomatic. “Often patients experience hematuria (blood in the urine) or general pain but oftentimes it’s discovered by accident. This is why it’s a good idea, especially for the elderly, to have regular checkups.”
Dr. de Bruin has an office in Port Shepstone in the Hibiscus Medical Suites and offers a complete urology practice to the South Coast..