Meet Obinna Igwilo, the Nigerian surgeon disrupting the medical field with robotic surgery

Mohammed Awal Jan 29, 2020 at 01:30pm

January 29, 2020 at 01:30 pm | Success Story

Mohammed Awal

Mohammed Awal

January 29, 2020 at 01:30 pm | Success Story

Image: Guardian

A Nigerian, Dr. Obinna Chukwudi Igwilo, has cemented Africa’s place in the field of medicine after outstandingly performing groundbreaking robotic surgery in the United States of America.

Igwilo who’s an Assistant Professor of Medicine with Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, performed the Fayetteville Veteran Affairs’ pioneer Robotic Surgery using Da Vinci surgical technology, the Guardian reported.

Da Vinci surgical technology is a state-of-the-art technology designed to enable surgeons to perform complex surgeries through minor incisions using minimally invasive technique with the surgeon at the console operating with system-assisted clear vision and precision. 

With Da Vinci technology, the surgeon’s hand motion maintains accurate movements in four robotic arms operating inside the body of the patient.

From Abia, a state in the southeastern part of Nigeria, Igwilo is a pioneer of the robotic surgery, which he had been working on since 2014.

Igwilo’s efficiency was described by his employers as an “active engagement with the training of medical students and surgical residents while also serving as clinical Assistant professor of surgery with Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicines”, Diaspoint reported.

Igwilo’s robotic surgery remains a historic event being the very first to be performed in the 80-year history of Fayetteville VAMC, reported This Day.

Igwilo has been performing robotic surgery since 2014. According to him, the Veterans who received the surgeries were “very happy to have received the benefit of this innovative technology.”

“For Veterans whose surgical problems can be treated with advanced robotic minimally invasive surgeries, the VA partnership with WAMC is a winning combination,” added Dr. Jayne Maynor, Fayetteville VA Coastal Healthcare System Interim Chief of Surgery. “We are committed to innovative and excellent care for our Veteran population.”

Igwilo is a member of SAGES Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, with special surgical interests in Robotic/laparoscopic/minimally invasive surgery; Endocrine and Colorectal surgery.

As a consultant General Surgeon at VAMC and WAMC, he has been cited by his employers for his “active engagement with the training of medical students and surgical residents while also serving as clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery with Campbell University School of Osteopathic medicine”.

Image: Guardian

Born in Nigeria, Igwilo graduated from Ngwa High School Aba in Abia State in 1980 with a distinction, where he was nicknamed ‘Archimedes” – after the Greek Mathematician and Physicist – because of the ease with which he handled mathematics.

In 1980, Igwilo was admitted to the University of Nigeria College of Medicine and Surgery, where he graduated in 1986 with MB.BCh.

Following his Internship at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, Nigeria, and Clinical internship at Whipps Cross University Hospital in London, UK, among numerous clinical exposures in Europe and America, Igwilo emerged onto the US medical ecosystem, making sure to take a front seat in the ever-changing and technologically driven world of medicine and surgery.

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