A new milestone has been achieved at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi with the successful introduction of mini invasive surgery. The cardiac surgical team of the Hospital, under Prof Dr Paul Simon, launched this type of cardiac operation in Kenya for the first time.
Routinely, a patient’s blood circulation needs to be supported by the heart-lung-machine while the diseased structures of the heart are repaired or replaced.Explaining the procedure Dr Simon said, “Cardiac surgery generally poses a major trauma and usually requires complete opening of the chest by splitting the chest bone for access to the heart.
Recovery of the patient usually takes more than a week in the hospital and several weeks at home until full daily functioning can be resumed.” “Minimally invasive cardiac surgery has been shown to reduce length of hospital stay and morbidity after cardiac surgery and may speed up recovery. It is not suitable for all, but the approach needs to be tailored to the individual patient. Some procedures can also be done on the beating heart completely avoiding the use of the heart-lung-machine, but using stabilising devices, which may also increase safety of cardiac surgery in some patients.”
Dr Simon stressed the importance of these techniques being performed only after extensive training. He said, “The technical demands on the surgeon and the whole team increase substantially and safety cannot be jeopardised in mini-invasive cardiac surgical procedures”.