An all Ugandan team of doctors carry out first heart bypass surgery at Mulago

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An all-Ugandan team of doctors has carried out a vascular bypass surgery at the Uganda Heart Institute in Mulago on Monday.
The first of its kind by an all Ugandan doctors team, the eight-hour procedure was performed to redirect blood flow from one area to another by reconnecting blood vessels. The patient was a 47-year-old man.

He was diagnosed with cardiac arrest known as coronary artery disease which many refer to as heart attack.
The head of Adult Surgery Unit, Dr. Tom Mwambu said the patient’s situation required a vein from one of his legs to be extracted and used in the heart.
“We intend to use one artery graft from the chest and a total length equivalent to two vein grafts from the leg to be able to bypass the blocks on the heart,” Dr. Mwambu said.

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He was operated on for his heart to function well without any predicament. A team of two surgeons and their assistants led by William Manyilirah started by splitting and opening the chest to access the heart. Meanwhile, Dr Mwambu was extracting a vein from the leg that will replace the blocked vein in the heart.

For a long time, Ugandans with Cardiac arrest cases have sought treatment abroad especially in India but doctors at heart institute Mulago are optimistic that with the LIMA equipment will help treat patients at a cheaper rate compared to the expenses of travelling abroad. It would cost one from a region of Ugx. 100m to travel abroad for the same treatment.

Forum for Democratic Change former president Mugisha Muntu praised the development.
‘ ‘Even with the horrible working conditions, poor pay & lack of political will, our workforce continues to prove that what is wrong in this country IS NOT them. Congratulations to the team of historic doctors and quick (full) recovery to the patient.’’ Muntu tweeted.

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