Kelina Hospital Celebrates 250th Non-invasive Prostate Surgeries in Nigeria at 15 

Kelina Hospital Celebrates 250th Non-invasive Prostate Surgeries in Nigeria at 15 

Rebecca Ejifoma

Kelina Hospital, a surgical health facility, is raising the bar in the nation’s healthcare system. Just at its 15th anniversary, the clinic is basking in the moment of recording 250 successful prostate surgeries using the advanced and non-invasive Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP) procedure to reduce kidney damage, kidney failures and other life-threatening complications.

The Chief Medical Director of Kelina Hospital, Dr Celsus Undie, remarked on this during a media parley in Victoria Island Lagos.

According to the CMD, they have successfully carried out 250 HoLEP surgeries for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, a non-cancerous prostate gland enlargement that can obstruct urine, cause damage to the kidney, and other life-threatening complications.

While noting that the HoLEP procedure is used for benign prostatic hyperplasia, Undie said that benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as enlarged prostate, is an age-associated condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged, not cancerous.

His words: “The enlarged prostate may block or slow the passage of urine from the urethra, thereby causing damage to the kidney, kidney failure, bladder stones or other complications.”

He explained that about 20 per cent of men would develop benign prostatic hyperplasia in their 50s while increasing to 70 per cent by the time they reach 70 years of age.

Although Undie insisted that HoLEP is the most common surgery done in the facility, he said that the type of prostates seen in Nigeria is enormous. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is not the best procedure for them.

According to the CMD, TURP cannot remove enough prostate, and the patients may need to return to the theatre in the future and also have to be on a catheter for longer times after the procedure.

He, however, described TURP as a surgical procedure that involves cutting away a section of the prostate. At the same time, HoLEP is a minimally invasive treatment that uses a laser to remove tissue blocking urine flow through the prostate.

Accordingly, Undie highlighted that the American Urological Association and the European Association of Urology recommend HoLEP as the best for prostates over 80 to 100 grams in size.

He also conceded that performing 250 HoLEP surgeries for patients with prostate problems without giving blood to more than a handful of them was a big deal.

The renowned Urological surgeon emphasised: “One of those prostates measured 550 grams in size. Nothing apart from HoLEP or open surgery can handle that. But we did it safely with HoLEP.

“Most surgeries do not require a blood transfusion, unlike conventional surgeries, which might require several pints of blood for the same procedure.”

Thus, he lamented how Nigerians travel overseas for surgeries that could be done locally, saying it was a waste of foreign exchange and a disservice to Nigerian specialists as well as an unwise move. 

“Aside from urological and general surgery procedures, which are the hospital’s main focus, Undie said they receive patients for laparoscopic cholecystectomy for gallstones and knee replacement surgery (Orthopaedics), among others.

While counting their successes, Undie listed the hospital’s over 5,000 surgical operations in 15 years without a single patient dying in its theatre since inception. “It is a big deal,” he expressed.

He narrated: “In 2012, the Federal Government of Nigeria recognised our efforts by awarding us a Pioneer Status in Minimally Invasive Surgery. In 2015, we started aiming for infection-free surgery using Plasma Sterilisation for our endoscopes.

Undie, who operates from two facilities in Lagos and Abuja, said in 2012, they performed the first laparoscopic radical prostatectomy in Nigeria.  

He also recounted how in 2011, the hospital became the first in Nigeria to perform Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) and Laser Lithotripsy for Kidney stones.

“We also receive patients for laparoscopic cholecystectomy for Gallstones, knee replacement surgery (Orthopaedics), laparoscopic hysterectomy for uterine fibroids (Gynaecology), Endoscopic Sinus Surgery,” says Undie. 

According to the CMD, equipment like 120 Watts laser, 150 Watts laser, and two Lithoclast Master machines they have for kidney stones are the only two in Nigeria are some of equipment that helped them. 

Not oblivious to the many barriers hindering the practice, the CMD underscored some challenges, including lack of access to foreign exchange, poor electricity and depreciation of the naira, among others. 

He, therefore, appealed to the federal government to prioritise health, education and security to deepen socio-economic development in the country. 

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