Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also the love of humanity.

-Anonymous.

Our guest on this week’s column is Dr Benjamin Sarkodie; an interventional radiologist currently stationed at the Korle Bu Teaching hospital and a full time lecturer at the University of Ghana medical school. He is the nation’s first and only Interventional radiologist who is extremely passionate about his line of work.

Interventional Radiology is a unique sub-specialty of radiology, providing minimally invasive image guided diagnosis and treatment of diseases in every organ of the body. The main concept behind this technological miracle is to use most modern and least invasive technique available to minimize risk to the patient and improve health outcomes.

Well recognized advantages of these minimally invasive techniques include reduced risks, shorter hospital stays, lower costs, greater comfort, quicker convalescence and return to work.  The effectiveness of treatment is often better than with traditional treatments. For instance, if one has to undergo a regular surgical incision of about 10-20 cm for the treatment of fibroid, with interventional Radiology (I.R), it would take a small incision of about only a centimeter or two (2) to get rid of the fibroid. The I.R procedure requires the introduction of surgical wires and catheters which are then inserted into the body through a tiny/pinhole penetration under image guidance, i.e. MRI, Ultrasounds and x-rays. Patients who undergo this scarless procedure are made to stay awake throughout the duration with the aid of a local anesthesia. The I.R is used to cure a host of diseases; liver cancers can only be cured with Interventional Radiology after an early detection.

Naya poses with Dr. Sarkodie

According to Dr. Sarkodie, it takes a minimum of about fourteen (14) years to qualify as an interventional radiologist. One has to first qualify as a doctor in Radiology before taking an extra course in Interventional Radiology to become a professional in this field of medicine.

He spent seven (7) years at the KNUST medical school after which he served an extra two (2) years as an intern. He later topped it up with an extra four (4) years of specialization in Radiology at the Korle Bu Teaching hospital. His passion was ignited when he was first exposed to the procedure as an exchange student at St. Thomas Jefferson University in Pennsylvania.

In his words, “Ghanaians have embraced this new method and now, our number of patients has increased tremendously and lots of people are curious to find out more about what I.R is all about. The government has so far been very supportive with this new method of diagnosis and treatment; it has made available the necessary structure and equipments required to make the procedure easier and faster.”

He is a husband and a proud father of three (3) amazing children.

Dr. Sarkodie is currently stationed at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and he’s open and ever ready to assist all who are ready for his services.

Click on the audio below to listen and enjoy the full and educative interview:

 

By: Nana Yaa Asabea// email: nayascolumn@gmail.com

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