Rare surgery at Sharjah hospital

SHARJAH — In the first such reported case in the UAE, a tumour of the adrenal gland was removed successfully though minimally-invasive “key-hole” surgery at Al Zahra Hospital in Sharjah.

By Hani M Bathish

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Published: Sun 19 Dec 2004, 10:51 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:30 PM

The patient, M. Q. K., a 41-year-old UAE woman, came to the hospital with right flank pain. The pain was persistent and prevented her from sleeping at night.

Various tests — including spiral CT and MRI scans — revealed a mass involving the right adrenal gland. The adrenal glands are situated above each kidney and produce hormones that regulate a lot of the body’s functions.

Each adrenal gland normally weighs approximately 5gms and measures up to 5cm in length, 3cm in width and 1cm in thickness.

In this case, however, CT and MRI scans showed a large mass measuring approximately 8x5x3 cubic centimetres.

Blood and urine tests were done to rule out actively hormone secreting tumour. All the results appeared as negative.

The traditional way of removing this type of a tumour is by making a long incision of approximately 12cm on the eleventh rib and by either separating or removing the rib.

The procedure necessitates at least a five-day stay at the hospital and is usually accompanied by a lot of pain and discomfort due to the large size and position of the incision.

The team of laparoscopic surgeons at Al Zahra Hospital, which comprised Dr Mohammed Istarabadi and Professor Gerd Lepsien, conducted a Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy on the patient.

The procedure involves removal of the tumour through a laparoscope. A small laparoscope, similar to a telescope, was inserted.

After carefully separating the tumour from adjoining tissues, it was successfully removed through the laparoscope.

The tumour removal operation took approximately three hours, with minimal bleeding and no complications.

The patient had only to spend 36 hours in the hospital prior to being discharged for home.

The patient was delighted to learn that the tumour had turned out to be a non-cancerous “ganglioneuroma”.

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