Life saved by surgery

2016-10-12 06:00
A DELIGHTED Mmasabata Khateane with her son, Lehakwe, who has underwent a successful heart operation.

A DELIGHTED Mmasabata Khateane with her son, Lehakwe, who has underwent a successful heart operation.

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A TEAM of doctors at a Bloemfontein hospital have saved the life of a two-year-old boy by performing a successful unique heart operation.

The young patient, Lehakwe Khateane from Trompsburg, was recently operated on at the Life Rosepark Hospital in Bloemfontein by a team of four doctors.

The team consisted of Dr Danie Buys (paediatric cardiologist), Prof. Stephen Brown (paediatric cardiologist), Prof. Francis Smith (cardiothoracic surgeon) and Dr. Johan Jordaan (cardiothoracic surgeon).

They undertook the surgery a month after little Lehakwe’s second birthday.

He was born with a complex heart defect where the aortic valve and aortic arch were narrowed.

This critical narrowing of the aorta was so bad that it had to be restored shortly after his birth.

The problem was that the aortic valve, which had only two columns instead of the usual three, also started to close up in the process.

Further investigations were carried out in the hyper-modern catheterization laboratory of the paediatric cardiology unit at the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein.

Angiograms were done to determine the degree of impairment.

These investigations were carried out by Brown and Buys.

Lehakwe’s coronary arteries formed abnormal evicted aneurisms, which presented the risk of rupture.

The major repair of the boy’s heart was intensively planned by a competent team of doctors consisting of a cardiologist, anesthetist, perfusion- and clinical technologists and cardiothoracic surgeons.

A highly unique open-heart surgery under the guidance of Smith and Jordaan was then carried out.

Open-heart surgery involves that a child’s heart must be stopped and then the heart-lung machine takes over its circulation.

During the nine-hour surgery, Smith replaced Lehakwe’s aortic valve with a human donor valve (homograft) while a double bypass was exported to the coronary arteries.

What makes this highly advanced specialist work so unique is that the heart disease which Lehakwe has, very rarely occurs in children and is regarded to be technically more challenging.

According to Smith, the internal diameter of the coronary arteries was only 1,5 mm.

“The bypass was done with Lehakwe’s own veins found on the inside of his chest.

“During the procedure, it was found that the blood supply to the left ventricle is inadequate and so the coronary vein was also re-implanted in the aorta.”

After the procedure, Lehakwe was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit in the Life Rosepark Hospital, where he was treated and cared for by a highly skilled team of intensive care nurses and paediatricians under the watchful eye of Jordaan.

Lehakwe was ventilated for a few days and he needed special medication.

Lehakwe’s mother, Mmasabata, is very happy with the outcome of the procedure.

“I can’t wait to see him running around,” she said.

Lehakwe has recovered very well and was recently discharged from the hospital.

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