Kenyatta University Hospital conducts first Open-Heart surgeries

KENYA – The Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital (KUTTRH), Kenya’ leading National Referral Hospital, has marked the first case of Open-Heart Surgery after a cardiology team conducted successful open-heart surgeries on two patients.

The KUTTRH specialist team involved two cardiologists, Dr Robert Mathenge and Dr David Kanyeki, four cardiovascular surgeons namely Dr James Chege Munene, Dr Albert Ruturi, Dr Mishra Bashisth and Dr Enoch Makori, anesthesiologists and theatre nurses.

The specialist team performed a mitral valve replacement in a 33-year-old woman and an aortic valve replacement in a 40-year-old woman to treat the patient’s heart failures, extend life expectancy and improve quality of life.

The open-heart surgeries which costs about KES 1 million (US$8,700) involve cutting through the breastbone, into the chest to remove a faulty or damaged valve and replacing it with a new valve made from synthetic materials or animal tissue to keep the blood flowing in the right direction in the heart.

The Kenyatta University Hospital collaborated with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to ensure that the heart surgery operations were provided to patients at no additional cost.


KUTRRH Board Chairperson Prof. Olive Mugenda asserted that the successful heart surgeries were the first of many to be conducted at national referral hospital as the facility lives to the promise of cutting-edge patient-centered care.

She acknowledged the medical specialists who conducted the successful heart procedures and applauded the ongoing government support in keeping up with the National Health Agenda.

There is dire need for more Kenyans to take advantage of the cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment facilities at Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital to alleviate the need for medical tourism to other far nations,” advised Prof. Mugenda.

She pointed out that KUTRRH has a fully-equipped catheterization laboratory which supports the hospital’s vision of performing at least two heart surgeries every week at affordable costs funded by NHIF and other insurers.

The KUTRRH catheterization lab with advanced diagnostic imaging equipment will be used to visualize the arteries of the heart and the chambers of the heart to help care teams to properly diagnose and treat any stenosis or abnormality found.

Additionally, Prof. Olive Mugenda revealed that KUTTRH is in the process of acquiring a second medical linear accelerator (LINAC) machine for radiotherapy to boost cancer care capacity while noting that the hospital is currently installing the first CyberKnife in East Africa for radiosurgery.

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