Home » UGMC Makes History with First Beating Heart Surgery in Ghana

UGMC Makes History with First Beating Heart Surgery in Ghana

The surgery is a complex cardiac procedure that bypasses blocked arteries without stopping the heart.

by Motoni Olodun

The University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) has achieved a remarkable feat by performing the first beating heart surgery in Ghana. The surgery, also known as off-pump coronary artery bypass, is a complex cardiac procedure that involves operating on a patient’s heart while it is still beating.

The surgery was performed on two adults, a 70-year-old retired teacher and a 67-year-old businesswoman, who were among six patients who underwent various cardiac surgical procedures at the centre. The patients had severe coronary artery disease, which means that their arteries that supply blood to the heart were blocked.

The surgery involved connecting a healthy artery or vein from another part of the body to the blocked artery, bypassing the obstruction and restoring blood flow to the heart. The surgery was done without stopping the heart or using a heart-lung machine, which reduces the risk of complications and improves recovery time.

The UGMC team that performed the surgery was led by Professor Enoch Akowuah, Dr Baffoe Gyan, Dr Gordon Offei-Larbi and Professor Andrew Owens, with Dr Ernest Ofosu Appiah as the anaesthetist. They were supported by a team of nurses, technicians and other staff.

The patients were discharged from the hospital within five days and are doing well. They expressed their gratitude to the UGMC team for saving their lives and giving them a new lease of life.

The UGMC is the first and only facility in Ghana that offers beating heart surgery, which is considered the gold standard for coronary artery bypass. The centre has a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratory, a hybrid operating theatre, an intensive care unit and a cardiac rehabilitation unit.

The centre also provides other cardiac services such as angiography, angioplasty, stenting, pacemaker implantation, valve replacement and repair, and congenital heart disease correction.

The UGMC is committed to providing quality and affordable cardiac care to the people of Ghana and beyond. The centre also aims to train and mentor the next generation of cardiac specialists and researchers in the country.

According to the World Heart Federation, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, accounting for 20.5 million deaths in 2023. In Ghana, cardiovascular diseases are responsible for about 30% of all deaths, with stroke being the most common cause.

The risk factors for cardiovascular diseases include smoking, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, air pollution and genetic factors. The World Heart Federation recommends regular screening, healthy diet, exercise, quitting smoking and alcohol, and controlling blood pressure and blood sugar to prevent and manage cardiovascular diseases.

The UGMC is proud to be part of the global effort to fight and prevent cardiovascular diseases and to improve the health and well-being of the people of Ghana.

Source: Graphic Online


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