There has been limited success in establishing Open Heart Surgery programmes in Nigeria despite the high prevalence of structural heart disease and the large number of Nigerian patients that travel abroad for Open Heart Surgery. The challenges and constraints to the development of Open Heart Surgery in Nigeria need to be identified and overcome. The aim of this study is to review the experience with Open Heart Surgery at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and highlight the challenges encountered in developing this programme.
This is a retrospective study of patients that underwent Open Heart Surgery in our institution. The source of data was a prospectively maintained database. Extracted data included patient demographics, indication for surgery, euroscore, cardiopulmonary bypass time, cross clamp time, complications and patient outcome.
51 Open Heart Surgery procedures were done between August 2004 and December 2011. There were 21 males and 30 females. Mean age was 29 ± 15.6 years. The mean euroscore was 3.8 ± 2.1. The procedures done were Mitral Valve Replacement in 15 patients (29.4%), Atrial Septal Defect Repair in 14 patients (27.5%), Ventricular Septal Defect Repair in 8 patients (15.7%), Aortic Valve Replacement in 5 patients (9.8%), excision of Left Atrial Myxoma in 2 patients (3.9%), Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in 2 patients (3.9%), Bidirectional Glenn Shunts in 2 patients (3.9%), Tetralogy of Fallot repair in 2 patients (3.9%) and Mitral Valve Repair in 1 patient (2%). There were 9 mortalities (17.6%) in this series. Challenges encountered included the low volume of cases done, an unstable working environment, limited number of trained staff, difficulty in obtaining laboratory support, limited financial support and difficulty in moving away from the Cardiac Mission Model.
The Open Heart Surgery program in our institution is still being developed but the identified challenges need to be overcome if this program is to be sustained. Similar challenges will need to be overcome by other cardiac stakeholders if other OHS programs are to be developed and sustained in Nigeria