Solomon Obiri-Yeboah, Frank Nketia Boakye, Robert Nii Lamy Larmie, Lord Jephthah Jojo Gowans, Wilfred Sam-Awortwi, Tuffour Ampem Gyimah, Jonathan Olesu, Paul Frimpong, Richard Atuwo Ampoh, John Adabie Appiah, James Johnston, John H. Grant, Peter Donkor

Craniofacial Surgery in a Low-Resource Setting: The Successes, Challenges, and Prospects

  • Applied Mathematics
  • General Mathematics

Background:Craniofacial Trauma and Anomalies affect a substantial proportion of the global society, especially those in the low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). The literature stresses the concept of a team approach for craniofacial surgery and the need for the interaction of many specialists to provide optimal care for the patient. Craniofacial surgery is practiced mainly in the advanced countries of Europe and America. This report describes the establishment of craniofacial care in an African country. It reports on 6-year early outcomes of craniofacial surgery in a low-resourced country, counting the successes, challenges, and prospects. Methods: The establishment of an international collaboration that facilitated the training in craniofacial surgery is described. A 6-year retrospective review of craniofacial surgery cases managed by the Multidisciplinary Cleft and Craniofacial team at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) was done from January 2016 to December 2022. Results: Two Ghanaian surgeons were trained in Alabama, USA (a maxillofacial surgeon and a neurosurgeon), then returned to Kumasi to begin a Craniofacial practice with the help of the craniofacial team in Children of Alabama Birmingham Al, USA. A total of 646 procedures were performed (616 cases of orofacial cleft, 20 cases of craniofacial anomalies, and 10 cases of craniofacial trauma involving the cranial vault or base of the skull). Ninety percent of the cases were cleft lip and palate, with the remainder being a mixture of isolated and syndromic craniosynostosis, craniofacial trauma, encephalocele, and craniofacial fibrous dysplasia. Conclusion: The Commonest craniofacial procedure performed was cleft lip and palate repair. Other surgeries were for the repair of velopharyngeal incompetence (VPI) and atypical facial clefts. Complex craniosynostosis and encephaloceles are also now being repaired at KATH. The foundation for a sub-regional center of excellence in cleft and craniofacial surgery is being laid in Ghana at KATH.

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