First Nigerian Private Hospital Performs Open Heart Surgery In Abuja

Alliance hospital in Abuja has gone into history as the first private hospital to perform an open heart surgery with live satellite transmission in Nigeria.

The hospital is also the first to perform a modified Bentell Operation- a cardiac surgery operation involving composite graft replacement of the aortic valve, aortic root and ascending aorta, with re-implantation of the coronary arteries into the graft – in Nigeria.

Three other cases have been slated for this batch of operations at the hospital to replace a nitral valve, coronary artery bypass graft, and aortic valve repair.

According to the lead surgeons in the team of ten that carried the operations, Dr Onyekwere Nzewi, bentell is a technically very challenging operation and would not be wise for anybody to start doing where one is not quite comfortable with the setup.

Nzewi, who is the executive director of a UK charity that subsidized the surgery, Save A Heart Foundation said “It not common and it is unlikely to be commonly done in Nigeria. But most of these case are probably not been properly diagnosed in Nigeria because there are not many people that can intervene. Not every expert is an expert.”

The chief medical director of Alliance Hospital, Dr Christopher Otabor said the hospital seeks to bridge the gap of inadequate health care services in Nigeria which has spiked cases of medical tourism.

“Many people talk about he problem of medical tourism in Nigeria but not as many are taking significant steps to stem this ugly trend that costs Nigeria about one billion dollars annually,” he told a press conference following a successful surgical session.

Otabor said the hospital’s partnership with the UK charity is expected to do 300 cases of open heart surgeries annually with a potential to increase.

According to the surgeons, it is expected that the patients make full recovery after the surgery as within seven days, they will be discharged from the hospital.

But it will take about six weeks for the bones in the heart region to join again and this means they cannot lift heavy object

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