Dr. Tayo Ojo: Highlights of Aproko Doctor’s Brain Tumor Surgery.

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Popular Nigerian Influencer and Medic, Aproko Doctor, had been having severe, Incessant headaches in the last few months. He attributed these headaches to stress. It was until the 3rd of December, when he felt a smudge across his left eye, that he actually smelt more foul.

Being a doctor, he suspected it was Glaucoma, and contacted his ophthalmologist who recommended that he check his eye pressure. Aproko Doctor immediately went for an MRI scan. During the scan, the radiographer said that he saw something unusual. And that thing could be an aneurysm (a swelling in a blood vessel).

While in the car, going home after the test, Aproko Doctor was crying. He said:

“I was crying because I had asked myself ‘why? why me?’ and while I was crying I could feel the pressure increasing in my head, so I had to stop crying not because I was done with my emotions but because if I had continued crying I felt it would have burst.”

– Aproko Doctor on why he cried.

On the 5th of December, Aproko Doctor – accompanied by his wife – went to the hospital. There, he gave his scan film to Dr. Ninilo, an interventional radiologist, because he just could not bring himself to believe a tumor was sitting his head around his master gland. Dr. Ninilo sent the film to Dr. Tayo Ojo, a consultant Neurosurgeon based in Lagos.

Apparently, Dr. Tayo Ojo and Dr.  Chiazor Anyia worked together at Lagoon Hospitals. So, Dr. Anyia called Aproko Doctor that night, told him to come to the hospital the next day, and that based on the story he had heard, it could be a pituitary apoplexy where there is sudden bleeding into the tumor of the pituitary.

They took time to really evaluate those images and later found out it wasn’t the pituitary apoplexy. At this point, Aproko Doctor needed to undergo some hormonal profile tests to check all the hormones that is being produced by the pituitary gland, and find out whether everything was okay.

Everything happened between the 5th and 18th of December. He still had a lot of videos to shoot. He had also planned to give out bonuses and do secret Santa against January 2023.

“And at some point, I continued shooting till I couldn’t shoot anymore. I couldn’t see my phone. I couldn’t see my tablet. The lights on my face was affecting my eyesight and I couldn’t shoot without the light so we had to disappoint some brands.”

– Aproko Doctor on his work life.

The test he had to do – the hormonal profile test – was not done anywhere in Nigeria, and would take at two weeks. When he felt like the hospital was wasting time, Aproko Doctor went to Synlab, begged the CEO who helped him hasten things up to Germany.

Out of concern for similar Nigerian patients who needed such tests quickly, Aproko Doctor said:

“I can only imagine how many people who really need these tests that have to wait for two weeks for the results to come out.”

– Aproko Doctor on the need for quick lab tests.

The results came out and he was diagnosed of Craniopharyngioma – a rare type of benign brain tumor that begins near the brain’s master gland.

“I was literally shaking. I was vibrating. I was sweating. I wanted to vomit. It felt like my whole life had ended.”

– Aproko Doctor.
Aproko Doctor with Dr. Tayo Ojo (Right) at Lagoon Hospitals.

When asked about how complicated the tumor was, Dr. Tayo Ojo had this to say:

“The site of the lesion of the tumor is quite strategic because of the structures around it. The optic nerve that we use to see. The pituitary gland that controls everything in the body. The Hypothalamus of the pituitary stuck behind it. Suffice to say, that it is a very small tumor that could be very big. The complications will range from infection which is very treatable to death and everything in between – meaning the blindness will last forever. The vessels around the tumor could be injured and if that happen there will be stroke. And if the injury is much, it could lead to death.”

Dr. Omotayo Ojo on Craniopharyngioma.

The surgery wasn’t going to be really easy. Initially, the surgeons planned to take the tumor out through his nose, but owing to the position of the tumor and how risky it was, they had to cut through his skull to have just enough surface area for operation.

Dr. Tayo Ojo in the OR.

Soon, the surgery was over and done with. It was carried out by Dr. Tayo Ojo, an indigenous Nigerian Neurosurgeon at Lagoon Hospitals. Immediately after the surgery, Aproko Doctor was led out of the theater.

“While in the ICU, I asked them to get me my wife. The moment she came in, I said ‘today’s the 18th of December, right?’ She said ‘yes.’ I was like who won the World Cup. And she said ‘Messi.’  I had been waiting for Messi to win the World Cup. It was a good thing that I could remember. It was a good thing I was alive.”

– Aproko Doctor after the surgery.

News about the success of the surgery soon went out. Friends and family took time to wish him speedy recovery. Aproko Doctor later let it out on Twitter why he did the Surgery in Nigeria.

NB: Aproko Doctor’s real name is Dr. Chinonso Egemba. He provides relatable medical advice and hands-on solutions for everyday healthcare promotion.

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