Groote Schuur Hospital in historic first for SA

2016-04-08 20:00


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Cape Town - In a historic first for South Africa, a heart surgery team from Groote Schuur Hospital has performed an open heart aortic valve replacement through little more than a keyhole incision.

The operation, which is a less invasive surgical procedure, was conducted on March 29.

The female patient, Boniswa Simon from Khayelitsha, was treated for a leaking heart valve. 

The operation has since been hailed a success and Simon is recovering at home after spending a week in hospital.

Western Cape health department spokesperson Alaric Jacobs said heart valve surgery had traditionally been performed by splitting the breastbone.

"In recent years, less invasive surgical approaches have been developed by which heart valve repairs or replacements can be performed through very small incisions ['keyhole surgery'], with the aid of cameras and without the need to split the breastbone or create any bony fractures in order to perform the operation," Jacobs said.

The procedure was led by Dr Jacques Scherman.

Scherman specialises in heart surgery and trained in Switzerland for two years. 

Since 2013, he has done about 100 minimal-invasive open heart surgeries. 

"This surgical procedure results in less surgical trauma. This leads to faster recovery times and eventually cost savings for the hospital," Sherman said.

Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said she was excited by the hospital’s latest achievement.

"The tradition of innovation continued by healthcare workers at Groote Schuur Hospital exemplifies what we mean by providing quality healthcare to the people of the Western Cape," Mbombo said. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  health

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