Doctors at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi performed a life-saving surgery on a young man suffering multiple organ failure because of a complex aortic valve stenosis.
The man in his mid-30s had a congenital abnormality that led to significant difficulties in his heart’s ability to pump blood. Upon arriving at the hospital, he was found to have multiple organ failure as a result of aortic valve stenosis, a condition that causes narrowing of the aortic valve.
“In this particular case, we were confronted with a condition where the patient’s aortic valve was critically narrowed, impeding blood flow and threatening heart function. His age was also a factor as aortic valve stenosis usually affects the older demographic,” said Dr Mahmoud Traina, staff physician of cardiovascular medicine in the Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute at the hospital, part of the M42 network.
After being evaluated for emergency treatment, the patient was quickly placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to stabilise his condition before going into life-saving surgery. The aortic valve replacement procedure lasted a little under two hours, involving the insertion of a biological valve supported by a stainless-steel frame into the heart using a catheter.
“After confirming the valve’s functionality, the catheter was removed, and the 5mm incision was closed. Our team’s prompt response and subsequent decision-making to employ advanced techniques like ECMO and transcatheter aortic valve replacement were pivotal in the successful treatment of this young patient,” Dr Traina noted.
Post-surgery, the patient showed significant improvement and was discharged a few days later, returning to work in less than 10 days.
It is a condition when the aortic valve in the heart becomes narrowed or blocked This interferes with the normal blood flow out of the heart, causing heart damage, major health problems, and even death. Because it restricts blood flow, it limits how much oxygen the body gets. This can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and fainting.
It is most common in the elderly, becoming more and more common after age 65. Several diseases can cause it to develop in people when they reach middle age. In rare instances, children can be born with a defect of the aortic valve that causes stenosis.
About 2 per cent of those over age 65 in the US have aortic stenosis to some extent. Aortic valve stenosis often remains undetected until it becomes severe, posing a significant health risk.
Symptoms include fatigue, heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, and swelling in your feet, ankles or lower legs.
Reflecting on the broader implications of the intricate procedure, Dr Traina said: “This successful intervention for aortic valve stenosis is not just a milestone for us but brings hope to many patients from the region. The impact of such advanced procedures extends far beyond immediate recovery. It fundamentally enhances the quality of life for patients, allowing them to return to their daily activities with improved heart function and overall health.”
This accomplishment highlights the hospital’s comprehensive cardiac surgery programme and strengthens its position as a Centre of Excellence for adult cardiac surgery, an accolade conferred by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi.
“This case underscores the importance of regular check-ups for early diagnosis,” Dr Traina added.
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