Oct 4, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Robotic-assisted cardiothoracic surgery comes to SA

A first on the continent, a robotic cardiothoracic surgery program was established at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Hospital in Cape Town to provide less invasive alternatives to procedures in the chest cavity, including lung cancer and cardiac surgery.

The heart -, vascular and thoracic surgeon Dr. Johan van der Merwe is leading the program and recently performed the hospital’s first cardiothoracic procedure using the da Vinci robotic surgery system, Netcare said on Monday. Joel Dunning, of James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, UK, oversaw the procedure for removing a rib from chest outlet decompression surgery in a 33-year-old man to relieve pain and limited range of motion in his right arm.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to set up this platform which will allow our colleagues in cardiac and thoracic surgery across the country and elsewhere in the continent to offer robotic surgery as an option to their patients. This will allow more patients to receive state-of-the-art, world-class, evidence-based treatments,” said Van der Merwe.

, said Dunning Traditionally, many cardiothoracic procedures have involved splitting either the sternum to gain access to the area for open surgery, or a thoracotomy, where the chest is opened through the chest.

“This requires a long recovery period, often with significant patient discomfort. p>

“However, the use of robotic technology makes it possible to perform complicated procedures deep within the patient’s chest without the need for large incisions, splitting the sternum, or opening the chest through the chest,” Dunning said.

Netcare said that Van der Merwe operated using the da Vinci robotic console as an extension of his fingers and hands, making the complicated surgery much less invasive through small punctures in the B Chest of the patient while havin g excellent 3D and magnified vision.

The first patient to undergo robotic chest surgery in Africa was Etienne Nel, a former semi-professional electronic sports (eSports) player.

Nel first noticed pain around his shoulder four years ago. Over time he began to experience discomfort and tingling in his right arm and hand.

He was eventually diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and by that time it had begun to limit the movement of his right arm.< /p>

Nel found Van der Merwe, who discussed the options available to him.

Van der Merwe said that the nerves and blood vessels of Nel’s right arm were pinched between his first right rib and his were collarbone, affecting sensation, movement and also the flow of blood from his arm.

“Rather than cutting through sensitive muscle above his collarbone, the surgery with this minimally invasive technology allowed us to relocate the upper rib on the right side gently remove the side of the hand to relieve nerve compression,” said Van der Merwe.

Ready to be discharged from hospital the day after the landmark procedure, Nel said he had bere its regained good range of motion the first day after surgery.

“I could feel the puncture marks where the robotic sy Stem’s instruments entered my body, but the recovery is going even better than I expected . I can already get out of bed and use my computer,” Nel said four days after having his ribs removed.

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