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Rare tumour removed in groundbreaking surgery
2011-08-06

 

Mr Carel Botes and Prof. Francis Smit with a model of the human heart
Photo: Earl Coetzee

A team of surgeons, headed by Prof Francis Smit, Head of our Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at our Faculty of Health Sciences, performed open heart surgery on a male patient with a malignant tumour.

What makes this operation unique, is that the suspicious mass that was identified in the heart was a rapidly growing and a highly invasive cardiac tumour, which has only been seen in a small number of patients worldwide.

Without the necessary surgery or heart transplant, the prognosis of the patient would have been zero.

The patient, Mr Carl Botes, a 51-year-old farmer from Hoopstad, opted for the tumour to be removed rather than having a heart transplant.  Although both options would involve major risks and challenges, the transplant was the least feasible due to logistics, the waiting list for recipients and the lack of donors.

In the, highly complex, 10-hour operation, performed in the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein, the entire right heart chamber had to be removed and the heart reconstructed.

After prolonged hospitalisation of five weeks, Mr Botes was discharged.

Currently he is fully functional and continuing with his active lifestyle.  After three months, all investigations and scans indicate that he is doing very well and has no complaints of fatigue, shortness of breath and palpitations – symptoms which occurred before the removal of the tumour.

For further information contact:
Prof Francis Smit
051-4053861
smitfe@ufs.ac.za
 

Media Release
6 August 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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