Department Of Surgery – Korle Bu Teaching Hospital

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Department Of Surgery – Korle Bu Teaching Hospital

The Department of Surgery was one of the early departments established in the Korle Bu Hospital to provide surgery and consultancy services as well as offer training and conduct research. At present it is by far the largest department in the hospital with a bed capacity of 612 and staff strength of over 860. The department occupies the main six-storey Surgical Block, Cardiothoracic centre, National Burns Plastic and Reconstruction centre, Accident centre and Allied Surgery wards.

As part of its decentralization policy, the Korle Bu Hospital administration has created the following Sub-BMCs in the department: Surgical, Allied Surgery, Orthopaedics & Accident centre, Plastic surgery and Cardiothoracic. Each Sub-BMC is managed by a team that comprises Head of Sub-BMC, Administrator, Accountant, Pharmacist, Deputy Director of Nursing, and an Engineer.

The Korle Bu administration liaises closely with the University of Ghana Medical
School in the administration of the Department, especially with regard to training and examination of medical students and postgraduate training. The Head of the Department thus holds a joint appointment with the two institutions.

The first Head of the Department was Professor Charles Easmon. Since then, the Department has had many illustrious heads and has expanded into the following units:
1.General Surgery
2.Plastic Surgery
3.Trauma and Orthopaedic surgery
4. Urology
5. Neurosurgery
6. Cardiothoracic surgery
7. Paediatric surgery
8. Ophthalmology
9. Ear, Nose and Throat surgery
10. Dental surgery

Many of the divisions are currently making efforts at further sub-specialisation /sub-units.

Core Function:
The Department provides: Specialist consultancy and theatre services for referred surgical cases to all categories of person regardless of age and nationality in the areas of
– Neurological surgery, Spine, brain, chronic back pain, Congenital neurosurgical malformations
– Paediatric Surgery:General paediatric surgery, Paediatric urology, Laparoscopy, Congenital malformations, Paediatric colo-rectal surgery
– General Surgery, Surgical oncology, Chemotherapy, Breast, Gastrointestinal, Hepatobiliary, Endocrine surgery, Upper and Lower gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Laparoscopy, vascular surgery
– Genito-Urinary surgery:Oncology, Renal transplantation, Endoscopic surgeries, Laparoscopy, TRUS Prostatic biopsies, Brachytherapy for Prostate cancer
– Orthopaedics: Trauma, Spine surgery, Joint replacement surgery, Arthroscopy
– Cardiothoracic: Open heart surgery, Thoracic & oesophagus, Thoracoscopy, Vascular
– Eye: Refraction services & sale of affordable glasses, Visual field assessment, ocular imaging and scanning, Runs subspecialty clinics once a week treatment for cataracts, glaucoma etc.
– ENT(Otorhinolaryngology): Surgeries of the Ear,Nose and Throat, Hearing assessment & rehabilitation, Speech & Language therapy
– Plastic: Reconstructive surgery (Congenital and acquired), Burns, Cosmetic surgery

Members of most units perform outreach services to various regions in Ghana, especially where there is lack of appropriate skills.

Teaching/ Training
The Department offers training for a wide variety of trainees:
Medical (and dental) students from the University of Ghana Medical and Dental Schools
Nursing students from nursing training schools from Korle Bu, University of Ghana and other private and state nursing schools.
Postgraduate surgical trainees of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons and the West African College of Surgeons. Some of these doctors come from other countries in the sub-region and beyond
Foreign-trained doctors, in preparation for their local examinations
Peri-operative nurses
Operating Department Assistants
House officers and nursing interns

The Department also hosts and participates in regular examinations of the following institutions;
– University of Ghana Medical School
– University of Ghana Dental School
– Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons
– West African College of Surgeons
– Ghana Medical and Dental Council (for foreign-trained doctors)
– University of Ghana Nursing School
– Nursing Training Colleges
– Health Assistants (Clinical) schools

The Department undertakes research in all its specialties and also does collaborative research with other institutions such as the University of Ghana, Ministry of Health, and external research organisations. There is an active monthly Research forum with co-ordinators that promote research in the Department.

Activity Areas
The main areas of activity of the Department of Surgery include:

Outpatients department: This is the first point of call for all referred cases for the various specialties. The specialty clinics include;
– General Surgery clinics (Monday to Thursday)
– Genito-Urinary clinic (Monday and Friday)
– Vascular clinic (Friday)
– Neurosurgical clinic (Thursday)
– Paediatric surgery clinic (Tuesday-Monday is admission clinic)
– Breast clinic (Tuesday)
– Cardiothoracic clinic (Thursday)
– ENT clinic (Monday to Thursday)
– Eye clinic (Monday to Friday). Subspecialty clinics in
– Retina
– Glaucoma
– Orbit and oculoplastics
– Paediatric ophthalmology
– Low vision

A total number of 15,100 cases averagely are attended to yearly at the General Surgical Specialist clinic alone; 10,600 cases averagely at the Genito-Urinary Clinic; and 4,600 cases averagely at the Neurology clinic (what are the other figures for the other clinics?.

Emergency area: Very ill patients are received and stabilized at the Surgical Medical Emergency and the Accident Centre before transfer to the wards and theatres. Other units like Cardiothoracic and Paediatric surgery see emergencies on their units as well as from other areas in the hospital such as the Children’s emergency room and the Accident centre.

Wards: These consist of the;
– General wards (SW2, SW3, SW4, SW5)
– Special amenity ward (SW6)
– Neurology ward (SW1)
– Genito urinary ward (Ward G)
– Paediatric Surgery ward (Floor floor, Children’s Block)
– Cardiothoracic wards (at Cardiothoracic centre)
– Orthopaedics wards (C, D, H, I,)
– Allied surgery Eye and ENT wards (A, B)
– Plastic surgery wards (Plastic surgery and Burns centre)
– Accident Centre wards

i. Surgical Block: 7 theatres on the First Floor, 2 on the Ground floor
ii. Children’s Block: 3 theatres
iii. Accident and Orthopaedic centre 3 theatres
iv. Cardiothoracic: 2 Theatres
v. Plastic surgery: 2 Theatres

An average of 5,000 major cases and 1,200 minor cases are operated on yearly at the Surgical Block theatres alone.

Endoscopy: This Unit provides diagnostic and therapeutic services. The Unit on the average registers a total number of 2,300 cases in a year. The type of cases done include;
Oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (OGD)
Flexible sigmoidoscopy
Breast biopsy
Sclerotherapy for varices and haemorrhoids
Band ligation for oesophageal varices

Treatment room: Dressing of wounds is done in this unit throughout the week. Approximately 3,800 cases are attended to yearly.

Pharmacy: The Surgical pharmacy provides an efficient extended-day service to all clients.

Human Resource:
The Department has a rich human resource base, and boasts of some of the best surgeons available in the country and beyond. Consultants offer services to various local and international organizations, including being examiners for schools and colleges in Ghana and abroad.

It conducts in-service training for all categories of staff. A weekly scientific meeting is used to address any lapses in patient care and educate medical staff about current trends in patient management. This includes a monthly mortality audit.

The Department has protocols for the management of common conditions and emergencies and is expanding these to cover many more conditions