Sefakho Makgatho varsity first in SA to use new technique to fix jaundice woes

PRETORIA, South Africa – The Sefakho Makgatho Health Sciences University has become the first institution in the country to make use of the Hot Axios Stent Technique to relieve jaundice from patients caused by an obstruction of the bile duct.

Traditionally, the normal treatment for such a condition was to place a stent into the bile obstruction to relieve jaundice by means of an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography procedure.

This procedure allows the doctor to see the small tubes inside a patient’s body called the pancreatic and bile ducts.

The tubes which are located near the stomach carry digestive juices from the liver and pancreas to the intestines.

Leading the procedure, Dr Christopher Ziady, a veteran gastro-enterelogist, examined a 58-year-old patient at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital who had presented with a large pancreatic cancer which could not be operated on.

The patient had deep jaundice, itchy skin, loss of appetite, pain and had lost weight.

Following an examination, Ziady reckoned that the most appropriate treatment for such a patient was to afford him relief from these debilitating symptoms, to enable him to have an appetite and to improve on his nutrition.

Ziady said the initial plan resulted in failure because the tumour had spread into the wall of the small intestine and destroyed the opening of the bile duct.

“We then sought an alternative to this failed treatment. An endoscopic ultrasound examination that was conducted on the patient confirmed the Hot Axios Stent technique was an appropriate alternative treatment.”

Ziady said a suitable size stent was then selected and placed by means of an Endoscopic Ultrasound Scope, with the entire procedure taking only five minutes. Other methods of stent placement normally take up to one and a half hours to complete.

Although this technique has been in use for several years overseas, it was, according to Ziady, a first time to relieve bile duct obstruction in both the private and public sectors in South Africa. “Not only is the technique efficient and safe, but it also cuts down on recovery time spent in the hospital as the patient heals quicker than through the surgical technique.”

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