Nigerian scores first in cardiac angioplasty, stenting surgery
By Chukwuma Muanya
NIGERIANS with angina (chest pain) and heart attack may no longer be rushed abroad for treatment. A Nigerian doctor, Dr. Adeyemi Johnson of First Cardiology Consultants, has performed the first coronary (cardiac) angioplasty and stenting procedure in Nigeria and West Africa.
This highly specialised procedure involves opening blocked arteries in the heart and placing thin metallic tubes to improve blood flow in patients with angina (chest pain) and heart attacks.
Johnson, on Monday, at Reddington Hospital, Victoria Island Lagos, led a team of physicians, nurses and technicians to perform the procedure on two patients.
To accomplish this feat, Johnson partnered Reddington Hospital and after over a year and a half of planning they assembled the critical team and equipment to accomplish these pioneering procedures.
The first patient is a 46 year-old Nigerian physician who recently had a heart attack. Before this procedure became available in Nigeria he would have suffered significant damage and irreparable complications from the heart attack.
The second patient is a middle-aged lady with severe angina. Both procedures were reportedly flawlessly executed and both patients are recovering in the coronary care unit of Reddington Hospital.
Johnson is an experienced cardiologist with over 25 years of practice in the United States. He left a very lucrative practice to return home and establish First Cardiology Consultant.
Before now, Nigerian patients were taken to Mexico, India, Costa Rica and Turkey for low cost coronary angioplasty. Coronary angioplasty surgery costs between N462,000 to N1,309,000.
Every year, an estimated 37 million people worldwide suffer heart attacks or strokes. Of these people, nearly 17 million die.
Angioplasty is a medical procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels of the heart called the coronary arteries. Angioplasty is not considered to be a type of surgery. First used in 1977, it is now as common as heart bypass surgery. It is sometimes called percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Angioplasty is also used in other parts of the body, usually to treat peripheral artery disease.
Angioplasty may be used to improve symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD) such as angina and shortness of breath. Angina is a form of chest pain or discomfort that occurs when an area of the heart muscle is deprived of enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina may feel like pressure or squeezing in the chest. The pain also may occur in the shoulders, arms, jaw, neck, or back. Angina can feel like indigestion.
Angina itself is not a disease. Rather, it is a symptom of an underlying heart problem and usually a symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common type of heart disease. In CAD, coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to your heart) become narrowed or blocked by deposits called plaque. Plaque is made up of fat and cholesterol that builds up on the inside of the artery walls. This condition is called atherosclerosis.
Angioplasty is performed while patient is awake, under local anesthesia. Sometimes patients find it uncomfortable, but it is not usually painful. Balloon angioplasty (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or PTCA) is widely used for treatment of the blockages of coronary artery disease.
The surgeon makes a small incision in the groin or arm and inserts a thin tube, called a catheter, into the artery. The catheter includes a small balloon and a small wire tube, called a stent. The stent is usually a small, metal mesh tube that acts as a scaffold to provide support inside the coronary artery. A balloon catheter, placed over a guide wire, is used to insert the stent into the narrowed coronary artery.
Once in place, the balloon is inflated and the stent expands to the size of the artery and holds it open. This is to compress the plaque and enlarge the artery, and provide an adequate area for blood to flow through. The balloon is deflated and removed, and the stent stays in place permanently. The procedure may be repeated for one or more other narrowed sections within the coronary arteries.
source: Nigerian Guardian Newspapers