The Herald

First video-assisted surgery conducted in Zimbabwe

Medical Investments Limited Chairman Mr VL Ndlovu with the team surgeons who conducted the first in Zimbabwe Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) done at The Avenues Clinic.

Online Reporter

The Avenues Clinic has conducted the first Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) in the country, on a 40-year-old female patient who had been diagnosed with a cancerous nodule.

VATS is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat problems in the chest.

During a VATS procedure, a tiny camera and surgical tools are inserted into the chest through one or more small cuts in the chest wall.

The camera, called a thoracoscope, sends images of the inside of the chest to a video monitor and the images guide the surgeon during the procedure.

The patient that was operated on at the Avenues Clinic had a lung biopsy done and results revealed she has a nodule that is cancerous.

Diagnosis of the cancerous nodule led to the Uniportal Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery Left Lower Lobectomy being done, with the procedure being successful and the patient is now admitted to ICU.

The operation was carried out by two surgeons, Dr Diego Gonzalez Rivarz and Dr Machawira, Dr Kajese was the anaesthetist with Dr Kanyepi being the surgical assistant.

Team leader, Dr Rivarz, who has visited more than 35 African countries, is the creator of the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Unit (UCTMI) at Quirónsalud A Coruña Hospital. He also works at San Rafael Hospital and at HM Modelo Medical Centre.

The single-port VATS surgical technique enables the removal of more complex tumours through a single incision.

He is also the creator and current Director of the single-port video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery training programme at Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, China (the largest thoracic centre in the world with 10,390 major lung resections performed in 2016 alone).

Dr Rivarz is also a Specialist in Thoracic Surgery at A Coruña University Hospital Complex (2005-present) and a member of the lung transplantation programme (one of the largest in Spain, with 40-45 cases each year).

Dr Kanyepi attended one of Dr Rivarz’s seminars last year and engaged to arrange for a master class in Zimbabwe.

The medical team chose the Avenues clinic because of the adequate facilities available.