The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi recorded another feat on Friday following the successful total hip replacement surgery carried out on a female patient. The woman named Rabiatu Usman was said to have been incapacitated for years.
One of the surgeons who carried out the operation on the patient, Dr Ibrahim Shaphat Shuaibu of the facility’s orthopaedic department, said: “We were able to do total hip replacement in this hospital, meaning we had to operate her and change her hip entirely. And this is the first of its kind in this hospital.
“The surgery is actually an expensive procedure; it is above a million naira. I think one of the challenges of many of our patients is the affordability and the ability to pay for the kind of procedure.”
The consultant surgeon further said that before the latest surgery, the hospital had been doing partial replacement surgeries on patients with problems with their hips, noting that the first total hip replacement conducted would add steam to the medical facility in terms of specialised operations and treatment.
Speaking further on the operation, Dr. Shuaibu said the exercise took the team of surgeons four hours to replace the problematic hip, adding that hopefully, the patient would be able to walk normally in the next couple of weeks. He urged people having similar problems in the country to come to the hospital in order to benefit from such specialised care.
The doctor, who disclosed that the artificial hip joint inserted in the woman is movable and functional like the natural one, said it could work smoothly for a period of 20 to 30 years in young people before another surgery would be conducted and could last till death for the aged.
The latest medical breakthrough at the ATBUTH is coming exactly three years after it
successfully constructed a new bladder for an 18-year-old cancer patient, Saidu Ibrahim, a student of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, who was having malignant cells in the tissues of his bladder. The surgeons, led by Dr. Haruna Liman, carried out the surgery which culminated in the removal of the bladder, and constructed a new bladder (neobladder reconstruction) to save the patient’s life.
The patient had to contend with the ordeal of passing blood in his urine as a result of the cancer of the bladder for five years.
According to Dr. Liman, after Ibrahim was evaluated, it was discovered that he had a mass in the bladder, so he had to go through various screening tests such as intravenous pyelogram (series of x-rays of the kidney, urethras and bladder), biopsy (removal of cell tissues so that they could be viewed under the microscope by a pathologist) and Cystoscopy, which is a diagnostic procedure where a hollow lighted tube is used to look inside the bladder.
“All these procedures were conducted to establish whether there were cancerous cells or not in his situation; the aim was to control the tumour from spreading because there was a spread of the tumour into the pipes that link urine between the kidney and the bladder.
“The aim of this procedure was to give him the best option because there is no cure for cancer. What we did for him was to control the tumour from spreading and increase his chances of survival and that we have achieved so far. The second part of the procedure was to remove the bladder and refashion a new bladder for him,” he said.
In 2015, the Bone and Joint Orthopaedic Hospital, a private outfit in Sokoto, successfully performed a hip replacement surgery on a 65-year-old patient, Hajiya Rukayya Muhammad. The operation was carried out by a three-man team of surgeons.
The surgery, which lasted two and a half hours according to the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Muhammad Oboirien, corrected the limping posture of the patient resulting from severe arthritis. We also recall that in 2010, a team of Nigerian doctors at the Reddington Hospital, a cardiovascular specialist healthcare institution in Lagos, recorded a breakthrough in medical science when it successfully performed the first devised closure of a hole in the heart without surgery. That exploit came a year after the hospital successfully carried out the first cardiac catheterisation in the country also by Nigerian doctors. The beneficiary of the closure of a hole in the heart was a three-year-old child, Victoria Onuoha, who had a congenital heart ailment called Patient Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). Rather than do an open heart surgery, the doctors inserted a small device through the vein in the groin.
The latest feat accomplished at the ATBUTH and the others enumerated above are once again a confirmation that given the right environment and necessary facilities, Nigerian doctors can perform wonders. We salute them for the various pioneering breakthroughs they have achieved so far despite the challenges in the sector. It is expected that government at all levels would be moved to provide facilities and an environment conducive for our medical personnel to continue to excel in the pursuit of their career for the overall benefit of the Nigerian masses.