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Nigerian medics record heart surgery feat

By   Sola Ogundipe
LAGOS—USING the latest advanced technology, a Nigerian team of cardiologists, nurses, technicians and other physicians at the Reddington Hospital, Lagos, has performed the pioneering successful coronary by-pass surgery in the country.

A 46-year-old Nigerian doctor, who recently suffered a heart attack and a 53-year-old woman with severe chest pain, benefitted from the highly-specialised procedure called Angioplasty and Stenting Operation in medical terminology.

Leader of the team, Dr. Adeyemi Johnson, a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and a highly- trained and experienced United States of America-based medical practitioner, said before Monday, when the operation was carried out, the unique treatment technique was only available in the developed world.

Johnson said the procedure, which involves opening of blocked arteries in the heart and placing thin metallic tubes to improve blood flow in patients with chest pain and heart attacks without having to put them to sleep or open up their hearts, could not be carried out in Nigeria before now, because of poor infrastructure.

According to the hospital’s CEO, Dr. Yemi Onabowale, it took nearly two years of planning to assemble the critical team and equipment to accomplish the historic feat, which, he was optimistic, would make it unnecessary for Nigerians to travel abroad in search of the corrective heart procedures of similar nature.

Angioplasty is a procedure during which a physician inflates a small balloon inside a blood vessel to eliminate or reduce areas of narrowing.

The goal of angioplasty is the restoration of adequate blood flow through the affected part of the body by enlarging the blood vessel from within.

Stentingis a procedure in which a physician inserts a tiny, slender, expandable metal-mesh tube (stent) that fits inside an artery once the artery has been widened by angioplasty. The goal of stenting is to prevent the artery from collapsing or being closed by plaque again.


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