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More Nigerian medics excel as Igwilo performs robotic surgery in U.S.

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The medical community in Nigeria is excited, as their countryman in the United States, Dr. Obinna Chukwudi Igwilo, has reportedly performed a major robotic surgery in the American nation.

Prominent Nigerians, including the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; president, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Francis Faduyile; Chief Medical Director of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Chris Bode and former Director General of the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Prof. Innocent Ujah, have commended Igwilo for the feat.

They expressed the hope that such procedure would soon be replicated in Nigeria to benefit those in remote areas and war zones where experienced surgeons are scarce.

Igwilo is an Assistant Professor of Medicine with Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine. He performed the Fayetteville Veteran Affairs’ pioneer Robotic Surgery using Da Vinci surgical technology in the United States.

The Da Vinci robot uses the most advanced technology available, enabling the surgeon to perform complex operations through a few tiny incisions while increasing the surgeon’s vision, precision, dexterity and control.

It also allows the surgeon’s hand motions to be translated into precise movements spread to four robotic arms working inside the patient’s body.

Although, the feat represented a first for Fayetteville VA, with Igwilo, who is one of the medical centre’s newest hires, it was a familiar procedure as he had performed robotic surgeries since 2014.

He is board-certified in General Surgery with a special interest in endocrine surgery, robotic surgery, advanced laparoscopic or minimally invasive/access surgery and endoscopic procedures.

Meanwhile, another Nigerian, Dr. Oluyinka O. Olutoye, now a Surgeon-in-Chief at a U.S. hospital had earlier in the year removed a foetus from the womb for surgery, and then returned the foetus back to the location.

Olutoye co-led a team of 21 doctors that removed a sacrococcygeal teratoma, a large tumour that grows on the tailbone of a foetus, and then returned the 23-week-old foetus to the mother’s womb.

Because of the milestone, the Nigerian leads one of the largest children’s hospital surgery departments in the world and serves as the primary surgical liaison between Nationwide Children’s and the OSU College of Medicine

He was also appointed professor and E. Thomas Boles chair of pediatric surgery at the Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine.


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