Celebrating Dr Oluyinka Olutoye: Son of Nigerian monarch who removed fetus, operated on it and returned it to mother's womb

Prof Oluyinka Olutoye's name wouldn't have rang a bell if you had stumbled on it over a decade ago. It would probably have appeared as one of the many Nigerian professionals in diaspora until 2016 when he became a global reference point in medical excellence.

Today Olutoye sits atop as Surgeon-in-Chief of one of the largest children's hospital surgery departments in the world – Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Ohio, United States.

He didn't get there by accident, Olutoye had written his name in gold before he was appointed to lead such institution. He gained global prominence as one of the pediatric surgeons who bring out fetus from the womb of their mothers, operate on them and then return them to the womb before their day of delivery.

His rise to global fame started long before the world heard about him in 2016 after joining hands with his partner, Dr Darrell Cass of the Texas Children's Hospital, to lead a team of fetal surgeons to operate on a 23-week old fetus. The baby got healed and continued to grow until she was finally delivered at 36 weeks. According to medical reports, the unborn baby had sacrococcygeal teratoma, a rare tumour that appeared at the base of the baby's tailbone. These types of tumours, it is estimated, occur in about one of 40,000 pregnancies, and if left unchecked, could continue taking the baby's blood supply and eventually cause heart failure.

Before the 2016 feat that made news headline across the world, Dr. Olutoye and his team at the Texas Children's Hospital were already popular in Texas for their excellent prenatal surgeries. According to CBS, in 2008, Olutoye and his team cut into a pregnant woman's abdomen, pulled out her entire uterus and operated on a 25-week-old fetus with a tumour the size of a grapefruit growing on the its tailbone. They carefully cut away the non-cancerous tumour, placed the fetus back in the womb, where it recovered and grew for a record 10 more weeks.

Olutoye's journey to medical excellence started at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun State, where he obtained a degree in medicine in 1988. Before then he had attended Kings College in Lagos. "I had further training at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, prior to seeking additional training in the USA," Olutoye said in an interview publised by The Nation in 2016.

In U.S he had his post-graduate medical education in pediatrics at Howard University and District of Columbia General Hospital, then his general surgery training at Virginia Commonwealth University Hospitals, Richmond Virginia, where he obtained a Ph.D in Anatomy in 1996

He said: "Following my training as a general surgeon, I sought additional training in pediatric, fetal and thoracic surgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I then took up a faculty position at Baylor College of Medicine and, with my colleague, Dr. Darrell Cass, established the Texas Children's Fetal Center at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston Texas."

At Texas Children's Hospital where he worked for several years, he is prominent for caring for complex wounds in children from premature infants to adolescents.

His family background, no doubt, was a major contributor to his academic and professional feats. Olutoye's father, Olufemi Olutoye, is a retired Major General in the Nigerian Army and a monarch. He is the present Alani of Ido-Ani in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State. He is one of the first graduates to join the Nigerian Army. His mother, Prof. Omotayo Olutoye, is an academic and a University lecturer. Excellence runs in the Olutoyes' lineage.

The NBC News Dateline described Prof Oluyinka Olutoye as a "miracle worker operating where few have ever gone before." But for him "I am the same person I was before. It is not about me. I give God all the glory."

The difference between Nigerian professionals doing exploit in abroad and those in Nigeria, according to Olutoye is access to resources and infrastructure. He was appointed Surgeon-In-Chief at Nationwide Children's Hospital in August 2019.Celebrating Dr Oluyinka Olutoye: Son of Nigerian monarch who removed fetus, operated on it and returned it to mother's womb

Prof Oluyinka Olutoye's name wouldn't have rang a bell if you had stumbled on it over a decade ago. It would probably have appeared as one of the many Nigerian professionals in diaspora until 2016 when he became a global reference point in medical excellence.

Today Olutoye sits atop as Surgeon-in-Chief of one of the largest children's hospital surgery departments in the world – Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Ohio, United States.

He didn't get there by accident, Olutoye had written his name in gold before being he was appointed to lead such institution. He gained global prominence as one of the pediatric surgeons who bring out fetus from the womb of their mothers, operate on them and then return them to the womb before their day of delivery.

His rise to global fame started long before the world heard about him in 2016 after joining hands with his partner, Dr Darrell Cass of the Texas Children's Hospital, to lead a team of fetal surgeons to operate on a 23-week old fetus. The baby got healed and continued to grow until she was finally delivered at 36 weeks. According to medical reports, the unborn baby had sacrococcygeal teratoma, a rare tumour that appeared at the base of the baby's tailbone. These types of tumours, it is estimated, occur in about one of 40,000 pregnancies, and if left unchecked, could continue taking the baby's blood supply and eventually cause heart failure.

Before the 2016 feat that made news headline across the world, Dr. Olutoye and his team at the Texas Children's Hospital were already popular in Texas for their excellent prenatal surgeries. According to CBS, in 2008, Olutoye and his team cut into a pregnant woman's abdomen, pulled out her entire uterus and operated on a 25-week-old fetus with a tumour the size of a grapefruit growing on the its tailbone. They carefully cut away the non-cancerous tumour, placed the fetus back in the womb, where it recovered and grew for a record 10 more weeks.

Olutoye's journey to medical excellence started at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun State, where he obtained a degree in medicine in 1988. Before then he had attended Kings College in Lagos. "I had further training at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, prior to seeking additional training in the USA," Olutoye said in an interview publised by The Nation in 2016.

In U.S he had his post-graduate medical education in pediatrics at Howard University and District of Columbia General Hospital, then his general surgery training at Virginia Commonwealth University Hospitals, Richmond Virginia, where he obtained a Ph.D in Anatomy in 1996

He said: "Following my training as a general surgeon, I sought additional training in pediatric, fetal and thoracic surgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I then took up a faculty position at Baylor College of Medicine and, with my colleague, Dr. Darrell Cass, established the Texas Children's Fetal Center at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston Texas."

At Texas Children's Hospital where he worked for several years, he is prominent for caring for complex wounds in children from premature infants to adolescents.

His family background, no doubt, was a major contributor to his academic and professional feats. Olutoye's father, Olufemi Olutoye, is a retired Major General in the Nigerian Army and a monarch. He is the present Alani of Ido-Ani in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State. He is one of the first graduates to join the Nigerian Army. His mother, Prof. Omotayo Olutoye, is an academic and a University lecturer. Excellence runs in the Olutoyes' lineage.

The NBC News Dateline described Prof Oluyinka Olutoye as a "miracle worker operating where few have ever gone before." But for him "I am the same person I was before. It is not about me. I give God all the glory."

The difference between Nigerian professionals doing exploit in abroad and those in Nigeria, according to Olutoye is access to resources and infrastructure. He was appointed Surgeon-In-Chief at Nationwide Children's Hospital in August 2019.

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