After 2 strokes, UAE expat undergoes life-saving surgery to prevent another attack

It was an operation that allowed the 72-year-old woman to go on with her life without worries


Angel Tesorero

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Sat 16 Mar 2024, 2:02 PM

Last updated: Sun 17 Mar 2024, 3:59 PM

A 72-year-old British expat had been in a constant state of worry after suffering a stroke twice — but a surgery turned her life around.

Vivienne Alison Davidson, a 72-year-old advertising professional in Dubai, recently went to Medcare Hospital Al Safa, supposedly just for routine medical checkup.

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“I'd had a stroke twice and was on anticoagulant medication (medicines that help prevent blood clots) when I went to the doctor for a routine medical checkup," she told Khaleej Times.

“Normally, I do not have my arteries examined during my routine checkups, but when I informed Dr. Saher Arour that I had previously had two strokes, he became concerned and urged me to have my arteries screened,” she added.

The result was shocking but also came as a relief as it revealed the root cause of Davidson's stroke.

“Dr Arour discovered that my arteries were obstructed, which was why I had a stroke twice," she said.

The life-saving procedure

Davidson underwent a severe carotid artery stenosis through a complex surgical intervention to prevent her of having recurrent strokes due to her critical medical condition and age.

“Dr Arour's immediate intervention has allowed me to go on with my life without any worries, and I have really recovered rather swiftly,” she said.

Explaining Davidson's condition, Dr Arour said the blockage was caused by significant stenosis, or narrowing of the arteries. And because of this, there had been an acute obstruction of blood supply to her brain. This is also known as cerebrovascular insufficiency.

"Her carotid arteries, the main blood channels that supply blood to the brain, had shrunk by 70 per cent on the right side and 80 per cent on the left. The patient also had a history of erratic and often abnormally high heartbeat. Her condition was exacerbated by the anticoagulant medicine she had previously taken to avoid blood clots after the strokes, necessitating a thorough assessment and a multidisciplinary medical approach,” Dr Arour said.

“Davidson's situation was indeed challenging. The high-grade stenosis, severe buildup of calcium, and abnormal bending of the carotid arteries required careful consideration."

Two-stage operation

After thorough discussions — involving vascular surgery, neurology, cardiology, and intensive care experts — a two-stage approach was decided to reopen both the left and right arteries, respectively.

First, Dr Arour and his team removed the build-up of plaques that caused the narrowing of the artery which was then closed using a plastic patch under continuous brain perfusion protection with intraoperative shunt.

Then, the second procedure entailed stent implantation for the right carotid artery to reopen it. This strategic plan aimed at addressing the high-grade stenosis and minimising the risk of future cerebrovascular events that affecting blood flow and the blood vessels in the brain.

Dr Arour said Davidson “is currently in the recovery phase, with promising signs of improvement. She can now walk short to medium distances and climb stairs without panting or shortness of breath but most importantly the risk of another stroke occurring has now been aligned with that of a normal person her age".


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