A team of 19 specialists from Reddington Hospital has successfully performed Nigeria’s first complex open-heart surgery on a 66-year-old man who had multiple cardiac problems.
With Nigerians now unable to travel abroad for medical tourism due to the travel ban caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the patient, Mr. Oluwatoyin Adebiyi, said he never thought doctors from Nigeria have the expertise to successfully carry out such a surgery.
At a press briefing held yesterday to announce the feat, the Group Medical Director, Reddington Hospital Group, Dr. Tunde Lalude, said the complex surgery included a coronary artery bypass graft, repair of mitral valve, as well as intervention made in his kidneys and other related vital organs.
He said: “The complex surgery performed by the new Tristate Reddington Cardiac Programme, involved stopping the patient’s heart and putting him on a heart-lung machine.
“The heart was opened to repair the mitral valve and the three blocked vessels to the heart were bypassed. The heart was then successfully restarted.
“This interesting operation happened in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis and by a 100 per cent team of 19 Nigerian doctors, nurses and other experts who live and work in the country.”
He explained that when the patient was first brought to the hospital, he had episodes of fainting with his heart rate at 35 beat, adding that with diagnosis, it was obvious his case was critical and would need a timely but complex solution.
“With our critical care unit fully equipped, we took him in, brainstormed with the team on how to go about his treatment. Interestingly, our Tristate Reddington Cardiac Programme has been planning on when to start these surgeries. However, the gentleman’s case made it a lot faster for us. The surgery is the most complex open-heart surgery ever done in Nigeria. We didn’t start this programme with easy treatment; we started with the most complex one. We are proud of the outcome. No one can have a better outcome even in developed countries than what we did here.
“This complex surgery demonstrates our ability to expand the range of what is possible in Nigeria particularly at this time when foreign access is highly limited. We now offer a full range of cardiology services with 24/7 emergency availability. Reddington now has an upgraded ICU, and we have trained critical care doctors on the use of the unit,” he added.
Adebiyi, who is presently recovering after the seven-hour surgical operation, said when his health deteriorated in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown, he thought this was the end as no one was allowed to leave the country for treatment abroad.