Doctors at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital have successfully removed a rare abnormal growth in the neck of a four-year-old boy.
First of its kind, the surgery was carried out by a multidisciplinary team of doctors to remove the Glomus Vagale tumour, a growth on one of the nerves on a risky part of the neck.
The minor’s father, Kiuka Domongolui, from West Pokot County said his son, Lopeyok Chesirwen, developed breathing and feeding difficulties a year ago but could not get basic medical attention.
"It feels good to see my son breathe without difficulties. This condition had given me sleepless nights, from the time he developed it,” said Mr Domongolui.
The complex surgery led by Dr Michael Situma, an Ear, Nose, Throat, Head and Neck Surgeon at the facility and a team of anaesthesiologists, took over five hours to remove the 16-centimetre-long tumour. It was located deep into the neck and adversely affected the vagus nerve responsible for controlling functions like swallowing, breathing and the vocal cords.
Dr Situma noted Glomus Vagale tumours occur due to abnormal growth of cells that form from a specific type of nerve cell, commonly in the head and neck.
"Delay in seeking treatment made the surgery more complex,” explained Dr Situma.
“The tumour had spread to other vital organs in the neck but a well-equipped theatre made the surgery a success," he added.
Nakuru County Medical Superintendent, Dr Aisha Maina, said the facility has been receiving complex referral cases from neighbouring counties due to its improved service delivery.
Nakuru Level Five Hospital serves Nakuru, Bomet, Kericho, Samburu, Laikipia, Nyandarua and Narok counties.
"We are pleased that due to a team of dedicated health professionals, we can perform complex surgeries locally. It calls on trust among patients," said Dr Maina, adding that the County has for the last three years invested heavily in infrastructural upgrade and specialised training of its medics.
The surgery was a learning experience for Higher Diploma in Clinical Medicine and Surgery students Joseph Omondi and Amos Lang'at from the Kenya Medical Training College - Nakuru Campus who said they had only been reading about such surgeries from medical books.