Docs' key to saving lives2nd October 2008
Andrew Ready, consultant transplant surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Edgbaston, flew out to Nigeria with theatre colleagues Adrian Shaw and Fleur Kelly to pass on their expertise.
They carried out the first ever keyhole transplant using a laparoscopy in Nigeria, showing African surgeons how to remove a kidney from a live donor at St Nicholas Hospital in Lagos last month.
The move is being heralded as a significant step forward in the development of renal transplant services for Africans with kidney failure.
Mr Ready, medical director of the Transplant Links Charity (TLC), said: "In Nigeria, they are ahead of most developing companies in that they have already started a kidney transplant programme.
"But they needed some support in expanding their skills so more patients can benefit.
"This keyhole technique means that giving a kidney is a smaller operation for the donor. Most donors can go home after four days and be back to normal in three to siz weeks, unlike the tradition operation which takes much longer."
The idea came to Mr Ready when he met the Nigerian doctors at a conference and told them about TLC, which helps developing countries save the lives of people with kidney failure through medics sharing their transplant skills.
During the trip, the Birmingham team carried out four successful live donor transplants.
It follows a similar mission to Trinidad in May when Mr Ready and his team volunteered to use their own holiday time to perform a live kidney transplant.
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