KENYA—Kenyatta University Teaching, Research, and Referral Hospital (KUTRRH) has reached a historic milestone by successfully completing a rare operation to repair the main artery without the need for open surgery.

The operation, termed Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair (TEVAR), represents a significant development in medical care within Kenya’s public healthcare system.

This first-of-its-kind non-invasive strategy for treating thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections in a public hospital in Kenya gives patients quicker recovery times than typical open-heart surgery.

Previously, surgeons depended on open surgery techniques for such diseases, but TEVAR is increasingly recommended due to its faster recovery time and lower risk of significant consequences, particularly in qualified individuals.

The first operation, done on a female patient, demonstrates KUTRRH’s dedication to pioneering revolutionary medical techniques.

The treated patient initially complained of rapid onset retrosternal chest pain that spread to the back, as well as fatigue, dyspnea, and palpitations.

Speaking on behalf of KUTRRH, Prof. Olive Mugenda, the chairperson of the hospital’s board, emphasized the safety and cost-effectiveness of TEVAR compared to traditional open-heart procedures.

She went on to underline the patient’s fast recovery, which resulted in discharge only three days after surgery, in stark contrast to the lengthy hospital stays associated with standard treatment procedures.

For his part, Ahmed Dagane, the hospital’s CEO, emphasized KUTRRH’s dedication to delivering specialist healthcare services not just to Kenyans, but also to people throughout East Africa.

He emphasized the necessity of national health insurance coverage, highlighting the role of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) in reducing the financial burden of chronic illnesses on families.

Dr. Enock Makori, head of the hospital’s cardiovascular and thoracic unit, detailed the advantages of TEVAR over traditional open-heart surgery, citing significantly reduced recovery times and shorter hospital stays.

He explained that TEVAR involves inserting a stent into the aorta to reinforce and support weakened sections, thereby preventing rupture and reducing the risk of blood leakage in cases of aortic dissection.

In addition to the TEVAR milestone, KUTRRH recently introduced ultra-cyberknife technology aimed at enhancing cancer treatment capabilities.

With approximately 35 patients benefiting from this advanced technology each week, the hospital continues to lead the fight against cancer in the country.

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