Limpopo performs its first heart surgery in over 20 years

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A Limpopo hospital has performed the first cardio-thoracic surgery in the province in 23 years – an indication, said the Health MEC, that public health care was on an ‘upward trajectory’.

The MEC for Health in Limpopo, Dr Phophi Ramathuba has congratulated the staff of Mankweng Hospital for successfully performing open-heart surgery. The Citizen quotes Limpopo Health Department spokesperson Neil Shikwambana as saying that a 42-year-old patient, who had a huge left atrial myxoma, underwent successful open-heart surgery at Mankweng Hospital and is recovering well.

Shikwambana said in the report that this operation is the first and most complicated one to be performed in any public hospital in Limpopo since 1996, as Limpopo, for the past few years, has been referring all patients in need of cardio-thoracic surgeries to Gauteng. “The operation took about three hours and the heart was stopped completely for about one hour and 45 minutes and was successfully restarted thereafter,” he said.

MEC Ramathuba says this surgery is an indication that Limpopo’s public health care service is on an upward trajectory. “We have been on a drive to recruit specialists so we can stop referring our patients to other provinces in the long term. Where we are still lacking, we partner with specialists from other provinces to come and treat our people here in the province,” she said.

The report says Ramathuba further congratulated the hospital and the team that was responsible for the surgery. “I want to congratulate the team comprising of Professor Mohlala, Dr Mahlogo, Dr Masinge, nurses and perfusionist under the leadership of Dr Muila SL, who is the current acting head of clinical care services at the hospital.”

The Citizen report

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