Reddington Hospital, Lagos, says it performed the most complex open-heart surgery in Nigeria amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olatunde Lalude, the hospital’s group medical director, announced the feat at a press conference on Monday.
He said the surgery was conducted by a team of 19 Nigerian medical experts on a 66-year-old man who had multiple cardiac problems.
Lalude said the surgery involved a coronary artery bypass graft, repair of mitral valve, as well as intervention made in the patient’s kidneys and other related vital organs.
He said the patient’s heart rate was at 35 beats when he was brought to the hospital, and that there was a need for an urgent complex surgical operation.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The group medical director said the surgery was facilitated by the hospital cardiac programme which was already planned at the time.
He said the success recorded shows Nigeria’s capability to expand and develop its healthcare system.
“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,” he said.
”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.”
Speaking while undergoing recovery from the seven-hour surgery, Oluwatoyin Adebiyi, the patient, commended the hospital for its service and the expertise of its personnel.
He expressed surprise that the surgery was conducted by a team of Nigerians, and said his case is proof that Nigerians no longer need to travel abroad before getting the right treatment.
“I thank God for giving me the opportunity to live again. I can’t remember how I got to Reddington Hospital, but when I became conscious, I saw an Indian doctor, and I was at peace, thinking he was the person who would lead my treatment process. After the surgery, I realised everyone who attended to me are Nigerians. They saved my life. I owe them and God this life I am in now,” he said.
“Nigerians do not have any reason to go abroad for treatments which can successfully be administered here.”
Kamar Adeleke, the hospital’s head of surgical team, expressed optimism at Nigeria’s prospects of better healthcare system.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the country needs to look inwards to solve many of its complex challenges.
The hospital is acclaimed to be the first to establish a CATHLAB and cardiac catheterisation program in Nigeria, as well as the first healthcare facility in Nigeria to carry out a device closure of a hole in the heart by non-surgical procedures.