Sebokeng Hospital performs first brain surgery in over four decades

Following the recent establishment of a Neurosurgery unit at the Sebokeng Hospital, history was made this past week when after over 40 years, the Hospital performed its first brain surgeries on two patients who have been suffering from subdural haemotoma (bleeding onto the brain).

Previously, Sebokeng Hospital referred patients in need of brain surgery to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH).

The establishment of neurosurgery unit will see the reduction of the high prevalence of mortality and morbidity of traumatic brain injury patients in the Sedibeng District.

Gauteng Department of Health’s head of communications, Motalatale Modiba said: “The first patient is a gentleman who experienced weakness on the right side of his body and was unable to walk or talk. The neurosurgery team did a craniotomy on him, stopped the bleeding and removed the  blood clot. The operation took 2 hours to perform. The second patient is a young man who was injured 3 months ago and had subdural haemotoma.  A craniotomy was also done on him and the  clot removed, however, his brain was severely swollen due to the injury.  The team did a  cranioplasty to protect the brain from potential physical harm. The two  patients have recovered well and were discharged this past weekend to spend time with their families at home.”

Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko congratulated the team, citing that the surgery bears evidence of the support given by the  Gauteng Department of Health to capacitate its centres of excellence by ensuring that health facilities have the right skills and equipment to render services to the public.

“As part of reclaiming the jewel of the Gauteng public health system one of our key focus areas is to ensure that our facilities function optimally and that infrastructure challenges are addressed as this has a direct bearing on positive health outcomes,” the MEC explained.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Dr Fhatuwani Mbara said many patients who presented at the facility with Traumatic  Brain  Injury (TBI)  were  demising due to lack of immediate neurosurgical interventions.

“TBI patients were occupying ICU beds for a prolonged duration with no definite management plan because majority of the patients require different types of operations ranging from skull, brain and spine surgeries. The newly established unit and the highly skilled team we have will ensure that we reduce head injury  related deaths that are sustained by our patients, especially men of younger age groups,” said Dr Mbara.

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