"Balance your life with sport, art,
music and the classics, and never become too conceited..."
Dr Lall Sawh
Dr Lall Sawh is a
urologist who is well known throughout the Caribbean and the
world for his research and surgical innovations. He
introduced to Trinidad and Tobago "buttonhole surgery", a
procedure by which a small cut is made when performing kidney
surgery. He was also the first doctor in the Caribbean to
perform a kidney transplant from a live person.
Lall Ramnath Sawh was
born on 1st June, 1951 in Couva, Trinidad. His parents
were humble shopkeepers and he helped them sell produce at their
shop and in the market. Despite his time-consuming home
duties, Sawh still managed to focus on his schoolwork.
Without the money to buy copybooks, he went to school and took
notes on brown paper bags. He excelled in his examinations
and obtained a place at Naparima College where he became Head
Boy at the tender age of 16.
His performance at
secondary school earned him a place at the School of Medical
Sciences at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona,
Jamaica. With financial help, he was able to complete his
studies at the top of the class. He was awarded a
Commonwealth Scholarship and ventured to Scotland in 1977 to
train as a surgeon at the Royal College of Surgeons of
Edinburgh. The gifted surgeon became interested in urology
and his outstanding work led to a fellowship in 1985 at the
esteemed Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA.
to serve his homeland after completing his medical studies, Sawh
was one of only three urologists in Trinidad and Tobago.
Through research and experimentation, he introduced to the
Caribbean many new surgical procedures such as "buttonhole
surgery" and kidney transplantation.
He was the first person in Trinidad and Tobago to perform a
bloodless type of surgery called renal hypothermic
surgery, where the kidney's temperature is lowered to eliminate
bleeding. Dr Sawh also introduced the lithotripter, a
device for removing kidney stones without surgery. He also
made history as the first surgeon in the Caribbean to construct
a penis for a boy who was born without one.
In 1993, Dr Sawh was awarded the Chaconia
Medal (Gold) from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for his
medical work. Only 43 at that time, he made history as the
youngest ever awardee in the field of medicine.
Dr Lall Sawh currently lectures part-time at
the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI, St. Augustine, and is one
of its examiners. When his is not working, he enjoys
playing lawn tennis. He advises students that, "Study
starts with a disciplined approach to everything and a
commitment to serving your fellowman." He adds, "Aim to be
at the top of your profession ad dedicate your life to that."