Tikur Anbessa held the first video assisted thoracic surgery

Tikur Anbessa Specialized General Hospital performed the first video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) for ten patients suffering from various lung diseases from April 17 – 28, 2017.
The couple of week operations program held in partnership with St. Joseph’s Hospital was performed by three thoracic surgeons: Dr. Michael Ko from St. Joseph’s Hospital of University of Toronto, and Drs. Ephrem Tefera and Ayalew Tezazu both from Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital of the Addis Ababa University.
This is the first time VATS technology for thoracic surgery (operations into the chest) has been used in the whole of East Africa.
Dr. Michael Ko stated that unlike conventional thoracic surgery, VATS uses very small incisions which “minimize the duration of hospital stay and serious complications such as bleeding, pain, the risk of death, pneumonia, the risk of cardiac infection and promote rapid recovery.” For instance, a patient operated using VATS for the entire removal of one of her lungs was ready for discharge after only 3 days.

The Hospital (Tikur Anbessa) also set a 5-10 years development strategy with St. Joseph Hospital of the University of Toronto to build VATS surgical capacity here. Briefing the objectives of the strategy, Dr. Michael Ko noted that the hospitals will exchange staff in order to train sufficient surgeons at the Tikur Anbessa Hospital to ensure this sophisticated but extremely practical, life saving treatment is available locally.