The tenacity of health practitioners at Ghana’s premium teaching hospital, Korle- Bu has saved a 52-year old dying cancer patient.
A combination of doctors, anesthetists and nurses spent 10 hours to remove a Pseudomyxoma Peritonei tumour from the patient who had days to live.
The joint team of experts used what is called Cytoreductive surgery and intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemoperfusion to remove the live threatening cancerous tumor.
Intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemoperfusion (HIPEC) is a type of hyperthermia therapy used in combination with surgery in the treatment of advanced abdominal cancers.
HIPEC involves the infusion and circulation of anti-cancer drugs in the peritoneal cavity (abdomen).
The cumbersome medical procedure was the first of its kind to be performed in Ghana and West Africa.
Reduced cost of treatment
Not only was the patient saved but it saved the cost of treatment.
Hitherto patients had no option but to seek treatment in advanced countries at a minimum cost of 100 thousand dollars.
The cost involved in overseas treatment made the rare illness nearly impossible to treat.
Even for those who can afford the treatment outside the county, the absence of a family support system is likely to have an adverse effect of their recovery process.
The hospital said in a statement after the surgery that “After removing the tumor, which weighed 10 pounds (4.5kg), the 52 year old patient is back in the ward and doing very well”.
It was all joy after our team of doctors, anesthetics and nurses stood on their feet for 10 hours to remove a Pseudomyoma Peritonei tumour through a joint procedure – Cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC. This is the first of its kind in Ghana and West Africa. Kudos to the team pic.twitter.com/fyoUvVRhYM
— KorleBu Teaching Hos (@KBTH_GH) June 24, 2019
The surgery was led by Dr. Asare Offei with support of anesthetists including Dr. Henry Obaka and Dr. Fred Osei.
Other members are Prince Kwame Amponsah, Regina Hayford, Jemima Akwetey and Kwaku Frimpong- who were operative nurses.
In April this year another team of seven Ghanaian doctors performed the first-ever brain surgery in the country, without cutting the skull.
The two-hour surgery was performed with modern equipment and computer software at the Euracare Advanced Diagnostic and Heart Centre, a private health facility in Accra.
That was led by an interventional radiologist, Dr Benjamin Dabo Sarkodie. The other doctors were from the Stroke Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Euracare.