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North West doctors successfully remove knife from man's brain

Doctors in North West have successfully removed a knife from the brain of a 23-year-old man who was stabbed during a tavern brawl, reports The Times. According to Tshepiso Mothibi‚ he was enjoying drinks at a tavern in Magogoe near Mahikeng on 20 March when a fight broke out and he was stabbed through the left eye.

With the sharp self-made shank knife still embedded in his brain‚ he was airlifted from the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital to the Tshepong Hospital where an operation to remove the knife was successfully carried out by Dr Tharun Krishna‚ head of the hospital’s neurosurgery unit‚ assisted by his team.

The report says according to Polaki Mokatsane‚ CEO of the Klerksdorp/Tshepong Hospital Complex it was a “very complex operation” as a CT scan showed that “the whole sharp side of the knife was impacted and buried in the brain with only the handle side of the knife sticking outside”.

“The surgery took five hours to complete successfully and the patient responded well‚” Mokatsane said‚ adding that Mothibi was being kept in hospital for further observation. Krishna‚ who was assisted Dr Masedi Mohale; neurosurgery registrar‚ Dr Ben Hameda and Dr Hilda Mazvhikwa‚ both anaesthetists‚ and Sister Nontsikelelo Mpana‚ the theatre nurse‚ described the operation as challenging.

“The patient underwent craniotomy to open a portion of the skull in order to expose the cranial base and base of brain to inspect the major structures that provide blood supply to the brain‚ namely the two internal carotid arteries‚ and the major cranial nerves‚ to protect and repair these vital structures” Krishna said.

“In theatre‚ the knife was carefully disengaged and withdrawn from the brain in a controlled manner‚ while being monitored under the magnified vision of operating microscope‚ without causing internal bleeding or injury to the structures of the brain.”
The report says Krishna added that Mothibi had retained his vision in the left eye.

“Post-operatively‚ the patient is doing very well‚ with vision of both eyes preserved. This patient was very lucky. Had the object cut through the major internal carotid arteries or injured the brain stem‚ he could have lost his life. In his case‚ the major structures of the brain were found to be intact‚ and his eyesight is also intact as the knife penetrated through the narrow corridor between the left eye globe and the root of nose‚ sparing the eye ball totally.”

[link url=""]The Times report[/link]

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