New neu­ro­sur­geon a big as­set to Zu­l­u­land

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO BUSINESS - Mari Scott

ZU­L­U­LAND now has its very own neu­ro­sur­geon - Dr Kri­tish Ti­makia.

Orig­i­nally from Dur­ban, Dr Ti­makia has re­cently set up prac­tice at both the newly opened Melomed Pri­vate Hospi­tal and Net­care The Bay Hospi­tal.

He spent the past eight years at Nkosi Al­bert Luthuli Cen­tral Hospi­tal’s neu­ro­sur­gi­cal unit, where he qual­i­fied as a neu­ro­sur­geon and re­cently ob­tained his Master’s De­gree.

Zu­l­u­land lured him, how­ever, and he is ex­cited about the prospect of mov­ing over from pro­vin­cial to pri­vate hos­pi­tals.

‘I gained tremen­dous experience work­ing at a busy pub­lic hospi­tal where I was al­lowed to not only ob­serve and be men­tored by some of South Africa’s top neu­ro­sur­geons, but to also have hands-on experience to de­velop skills as a neu­ro­sur­geon,’ he says.

‘How­ever, pub­lic hos­pi­tals do have their chal­lenges which you don’t find in the pri­vate hospi­tal en­vi­ron­ment. To me, this is a very in­ter­est­ing tran­si­tion to make.’

Dr Ti­makia says he had the op­tion to move to Net­care St Augustine Hospi­tal in Berea, but chose to set­tle in Richards Bay.

He says his first work­ing day at Melomed started ‘by chance’.

‘I was in the area by co­in­ci­dence, just ex­plor­ing the town, when I re­ceived a call from the ICU re­gard­ing a pa­tient. The per­son call­ing had heard that I was around.

‘In my train­ing, I have learned that it is never an in­con­ve­nience when it comes to pa­tient care, and I went through to as­sess the pa­tient.’

Soon after that, he was re­quired to per­form the newly opened hospi­tal’s very first brain surgery.

‘Melomed has never seen a neu­ro­sur­gi­cal case be­fore, so it was a new experience for all the staff.

‘The pro­ce­dure took longer than usual be­cause I had to take them through all the steps.

‘But every­one was ea­ger – and in­ter­ested – and it was a ben­e­fi­cial process for all in­volved.

While it is un­for­tu­nately, not al­ways pos­si­ble to pro­duce ‘rain­bow re­sults’ ow­ing to the na­ture of the brain con­di­tion or in­jury, neu­ro­surgery can be an in­es­timable in­ter­ven­tion, Dr Ti­makia says.

‘Many peo­ple are fear­ful of neu­ro­log­i­cal pro­ce­dures and con­di­tions, mainly be­cause of the un­cer­tainty as­so­ci­ated with it,’ he ex­plains.

‘The brain and the spine are un­for­giv­ing, but that cre­ates a healthy fear which makes us aware of the risks and helps us to tread more care­fully in our clin­i­cal prac­tice and de­ci­sion mak­ing.

‘Peo­ple tend to wait be­fore seek­ing med­i­cal help for brain con­di­tions, but some­times wait­ing could make the prob­lem worse, pos­si­bly ir­re­versible.

‘With the brain and spine, it is es­sen­tial to have an early as­sess­ment and to for­mu­late a man­age­ment plan for the pa­tient. At times, how­ever, a timeous in­ter­ven­tion is cru­cial and wait­ing is not the best op­tion,’ he ex­plains.

Dr Ti­makia’s long-term plan is a com­bined en­deav­our with a spinal spe­cial­ist to es­tab­lish a Zu­l­u­land spine ser­vice.

This is wel­come news for lo­cal res­i­dents, who would now have the op­tion of lo­cal neu­ro­sur­gi­cal and com­bined spine care and who would no longer need to travel to Dur­ban for such med­i­cal treat­ment.

Dr Kri­tish Ti­makia

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