Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Further increasing medical offerings throughout the area, Mediclinic Newcastle warmly welcomes General Surgeon Dr Christien Steenkamp as of 1 August 2021 to the private medical facility’s team.
Reflecting on her origins within the medical sector, Dr Steenkamp explains she hails from a family deeply rooted within the healthcare world. “My parents and my older sister are doctors, while my younger brother and sister are vets.”
With the medical world in her veins, after finishing high school, she signed up to study medicine at the tender age of 18. “However, after a year, I gave it up and went into landscape architecture.” But within a short while, the medical world beckoned. “After listening to my parents and my siblings, I grew a bit jealous and knew where I belonged.” She then returned to her studies doing her pre-grad in Pretoria and her Post Grad in Pietermaritzburg at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, qualifying as a General Surgeon in 2017. After which, she worked at Edendale Hospital.
As a General Surgeon, Dr Steenkamp describes herself as a very practical person who finds her discipline both exciting and satisfying. “It is one of those disciplines where an individual comes in extremely ill, and you do the surgery, seeing the results virtually immediately.”
Furthermore, according to the doctor, there is more to her discipline than just mere surgery. Among various elements, it requires extensive research on the patient’s health and medical requirements. “General surgeons look at everything from top to bottom, which includes emergency surgeries such as trauma, ulcers, and appendixes to elective surgery, where we look at issues such as breast cancer, the small and large bowel, and benign issues,” the doctor declares.
Chatting about her first impressions of the private hospital and the people who call the institute home, she states, “The Mediclinic Newcastle facilities are beautiful, and the staff are friendly.” With her sights set on the future, one of the ways she is looking at enhancing the local healthcare sector is through bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery includes a variety of procedures performed on obese people. Long-term weight loss through the standard of care procedures is primarily achieved by altering gut hormone levels responsible for hunger and satiety, leading to a new hormonal weight set point.
However, Dr Steenkamp explains that the procedure should not be considered lightly due to the risk factor associated with the process. But notes, “If it is done successfully, a patient’s life expectancy can be improved by six years.”
Addressing timeframes in terms of future bariatric surgery, the doctor states that in order to get the ball rolling, she will first need to meet all the local medical practitioners and establish a team to assist her. “Accreditation can take up to three years and then the team will need to be trained for it.” When looking at the population as a whole, she feels this form of surgery can benefit Newcastle and surrounding towns as it can reverse the co-morbidities often brought about by obesity.
Dr Steenkamp also possesses a keen interest in breast surgery, stating that this often lifesaving surgery can significantly impact the lives of women in the community. “We will definitely be looking into starting a Breast-Clinic, to serve not only the surgical but also the psychological needs of women in our community.”
With high hopes for her new home, Dr Steenkamp concludes, “I will be here from 1 August, and I look forward to walking a journey of health with the Newcastle community.”
As the doctor prepares to join both Mediclinic Newcastle and Dr Viljoen, join us in welcoming her to the community.
Share your thoughts and messages in the comment section below.
This post and content is sponsored and provided by Mediclinic Newcastle.