The Sebokeng Hospital near Vereeniging in Gauteng made history last week when a team of neurosurgeons performed the hospital’s first brain surgery in more than four decades.
Two operations were performed last week on two separate patients with subdural hematoma (bleeding on the brain) and both are recovering well.
This after no brain surgery could be performed at Sebokeng for more than 40 years. Patients requiring brain surgery have had to be referred to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto for the past 40 years.
However, a neurosurgery unit was recently established at Sebokeng Hospital.
The Gauteng Department of Health says the Sebokeng Hospital’s neurosurgical team performed its first operation on a man whose right side was affected. The man could not walk or talk.
A craniotomy was performed out of necessity and the team succeeded in stopping the bleeding and removing the blood clot.
The operation lasted for two hours.
Sebokeng’s second brain patient was a young man who suffered a brain injury three months ago. The man also had a subdural hematoma and the team was forced to perform a craniotomy.
The blood clot was removed although the man’s brain was severely swollen due to his injury.
The neurosurgical team then performed a cranioplasty procedure to protect the brain from any potential physical damage.
“The two patients recovered well and were discharged this past weekend to spend time with their families at home,” says the department in a statement.
Dr. Fhatuwani Mbara, acting chief executive of the Sebokeng Hospital, says that many patients admitted to this hospital with a traumatic brain injury in the past eventually died due to a lack of immediate neurological interventions.
Mbara says the hospital’s new neurosurgery unit will reduce the high incidence of death in patients with traumatic brain injuries in Sedibeng district.
“Patients with traumatic brain injuries occupied beds in the intensive care unit for a long time without any definite management plan because the majority of the patients required different operations. These operations ranged from skull, brain and back operations.
“The new unit and our highly skilled team will ensure that we have fewer brain injury-related deaths, especially in men of a younger age,” says Mbara.
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