February 19, 2016 346
GetDoc: Hello Dr, thank you very much for having us over. We begin with the clichéd question - what made you choose the medical field as your profession?
Dr. Badrul: (laughs) Thank you. Well, to answer your question, there was no motivation as such; you could say my parents wanted me to study to be a doctor. And the time was such, being a doctor derived more respect than any other profession. Add to it the fact that most of them during my days were interested in the medicine field only, so that way I too became a doctor.
GetDoc: And somewhere down the line, I am sure you found joy in being a doctor, right?
Dr. Badrul: Yes, you are right. When patients are healed and their suffering alleviated, that gives immense satisfaction to any doctor, and I am no different. Over time, yes I did begin to love this field and to this day, I truly enjoy whatever I do.
GetDoc: What services do you offer, doctor?
Dr. Badrul: I do a lot of knee surgery especially ligament reconstruction like Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). Nowadays people play a lot of Futsal, Football – the players are at a high risk of ACL, if they do not wear the proper attire, use the proper equipment, proper shoes. I get a lot of such patients here. Badminton players also can get ACL. I am also trained for joint replacement surgery or joint surgery – more on arthritis, especially osteoarthritis.
GetDoc: Could you tell us more about osteoarthritis?
Dr. Badrul: Osteoarthritis is basically wear and tear, arthritis can occur due to other diseases like gout, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, inflammatory arthritis also may need surgical intervention. I also do rotator calf surgery for shoulder. I do hip surgery, now I do a new technique – from the front – we call it direct anterior approach. A few people who wanted to get this surgery done, upon googling found this to be a new and this latest technique is called Anterior Minimally Invasive Surgery for Total Hip Replacement and they would come up to me asking me to do this surgery. We have started doing that in PCMC. You can say we are among the first few people to have done this form of surgery in Malaysia or South East Asia.
Patients prefer this anterior approach technique because they tend to heal faster (2 days stay in hospital). However, this cannot be applicable for every patient, we need to assess individually.
My speciality in this hospital is to treat sports-related injuries like ACL and meniscus tear, as well as knee replacement surgery – from Total Knee Replacement to Partial Knee Replacement Surgery. I also do Patellofemoral Joint Replacement Surgery which meant Knee Cap Replacement Surgery – and I am so far the only one doing that in this hospital. I am trained in robotic surgery where we can do partial knee replacement called MakoPlasty. We do a Makoplasty where we use a robot to do the surgery for us.
Patients can consult me if they want to do knee surgery in KL.
GetDoc: Do you do computer assisted surgeries?
Dr. Badrul: Yes, I do, if the patient demands it. The difference between computer assisted surgery and robot assisted surgery is actually how it gets to precision in fixing the implants whereby in CAS you put in trackers so that the computer determines the alignment, and then we fix it. But in makoplasty or robotic, we take the CT scan of the patient before surgery and then we plan where to put the implant, we will upload this in the robot. We just open up and the robot does it. So it is a robotic surgery but very precise. But of course it is very expensive. Nowadays, I do a lot of MRI assisted – patient specific or custom-made instrumentation.
GetDoc: Could you tell us a bit more about that?
Dr. Badrul: Every person has a different anatomy, a different alignment. Once an MRI scan is done, we will be able to determine the anatomy before and after surgery. We send the MRI to United States, we get the instruments after a month and it fits perfectly! I am probably the only one doing it in Prince Court Medical Centre.
GetDoc: What is the difference from the traditional approach?
Dr. Badrul: We need to have precision when it comes to knee replacement. We do not want human error and with this technology, we get that outcome. Of course, it can be done here in this hospital because we have all the facilities.
GetDoc: Nowadays, patients are well-informed; there is so much information available online. What has been the impact of these doctor google?
Dr. Badrul: Well, doctor-google type patients are both a boon and a bane. On the one hand, they do look up their condition online for information and it becomes easier for me to explain certain aspects of the surgery or the condition to them. However, there are some who ask too many questions based on what they have read – it may or may not be true or applicable to them at all. They would already have a preconceived notion about it and would not be able to accept what the doctor is trying to tell them. Most often the patient is on the erring side so if they understand it, it is better.
GetDoc: What is your philosophy in practising medicine?
Dr. Badrul: To me, orthopaedic line is very satisfactory. I can see the healing happens right in front of my eyes, unlike many other fields in Medicine, you fix and the results speak for itself in orthopaedics. I believe in giving my best, to be honest with the patient, to do things to the best of our knowledge – this is the philosophy I practice.
The patient also has to give his or her best, in orthopaedics, 60-70% effort is by doctors, rest by patients. Rehabilitation, physiotherapy, self- motivation is required to be handled by patients themselves.
GetDoc: What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
Dr. Badrul: I am very busy these days; I am also the President of the Malaysian Orthopaedic Association for 2015-2016. I have to manage current issues involving Orthopaedic matters and also that involve members. I travel a lot in this capacity, and when I travel I have to close my clinic. It’s quite hectic as I have to juggle time to travel and consult patients at the same time.
GetDoc: Have you had any difficult patients to handle? How do you handle them?
Dr. Badrul: I have had my share of difficult patients. Patients can be arrogant or very demanding at times. Recently I had a patient come over for a dislocated shoulder, since it is not my specialisation I referred him to another doctor. He was not satisfied with that doctor and came back with another MRI scan a year later for a second opinion from me. He showed that he was annoyed because I said the same thing that I have said before to him and advised him to see another surgeon. It is possible that he just wanted to hear what he wants to hear, a classic denial. If it is not my area, I would not be able to help him. I am very honest with my patients.
GetDoc: Do you see a lot of sport injuries now in Malaysia?
Dr. Badrul: Malaysia is growing to be a sporting nation and yes, I treat a lot of ACL cases, almost every week. It also could be because; players did not warm up well, improper equipment/footwear while playing/running.
GetDoc: What advice would you give to your patients?
Dr. Badrul: My general advice is you need to trust the doctors above the internet. So if you are not satisfied, it is better to take a second opinion. Internet need not always be right.
For sports enthusiasts, my advice would be – warm up well first, tone the muscle, know your game very well, use proper equipment.
GetDoc: Which case would you say that you are proud of, so far?
Dr. Badrul: All my cases! (Laughs)
GetDoc: How do you unwind from stress?
Dr. Badrul: Sometimes I play golf, if I have the time. Stress is best settled at home. I spend a lot of my time at the hospital; I like this environment as well.
There you have it, a really highly qualified orthopaedic in our country. Head right there to clear your doubts!
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Qian's interest in healthcare industry came about after her father was diagnosed with bladder cancer. This experience has led her to become a strong believer in empowering individuals to take charge of their own health. View all articles by Qian.