Saturday, 16 November 2013

Mulago performs first brain surgery

Kampala- Mulago hospital, together with a team of visiting experts from Duke University in the US have carried out the first ever brain blood vessel surgery at the facility.
Two of the patients with the condition medically known as aneurysm - a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall - were successfully operated on Wednesday and Thursday, with each case lasting at least nine hours.
According to Dr Michael Muhumuza, brain aneurysms occur when there is a weakness in the walls of blood vessels in the brain, resulting from either severe head injury, high blood pressure or pre-existing weakness in the blood vessels.
“The brain requires a large supply of blood delivered via four main blood vessels that run up the neck and into the brain. These blood vessels divide into smaller vessels and most aneurysms develop at the points where the blood vessels divide and branch off, because these are often weaker areas,” he said.
The danger
About three in five people who have aneurysm will die within two weeks, and half of those who survive are left with severe brain damage and disability. If the brain (cerebral) aneurism bursts, it causes bleeding in the brain and a hemorrhagic stroke - it can also cause blood leaks into the area surrounding the brain, causing a blood clot in the skull and is generally considered life threatening.
The two cases are part of the 30 neurosurgeries carried out in a week-long camp that started on November 11 . It was funded by the Duke University in the United States.
The consultant neurosurgeon said: “Even as the camp draws to the end, the number of patients that need surgery remains high, although it is not possible to handle all of them.”
He added: “We had screened about 50 patients, who needed immediate intervention but unfortunately, we cannot work on all of them because the number keeps increasing as more emergency accident victims who need immediate surgery are brought in every day.”
Dr Muhumuza said that non-emergency cases will be rescheduled for the next camp but the department will continue handling the critical cases after this week’s exercise.