Sharjah - The doctors expect an increase in demand for this type of treatment
In a rare and highly sophisticated laparoscopic operation, a team of surgeons from Zulekha Hospital successfully removed a large tumour from the abdomen of a UAE resident.
Jasim Mohammed, a 54-year-old patient diagnosed with a 5-centimetre tumour in August, underwent the specialised, minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure, rarely available in the UAE.
Dr Mohanad Mohamad Sultan Aljanabi, consultant general and bariatric surgeon at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah, one of the very few locally-based surgeons experienced in this technique, said: "The laparoscopic approach, which doesn't require opening the patient's abdomen, is now considered the best colonic surgical procedure.
"This type of surgery, however, is offered only by a handful of UAE hospitals that have the right equipment and qualified staff, so patients often have to travel to the UK, Germany or the US to receive this treatment."
Mohammed, who was suffering from lower abdominal pain, went to Zulekha Hospital after prolonged treatment at different hospitals that failed to provide any relief. "I have been in pain for a very long time. I visited several doctors and they gave me medications for many possible gastric ailments, but the pain would not subside, so I made an appointment at Zulekha Hospital and this is when the doctors discovered a huge tumour in my abdomen," Mohammed said.
Lasting three-and-a-half-hours and conducted by a team of two surgeons and nurses, the surgery involved doctors making precise incisions in Mohammed's abdomen to insert minuscule tools and remove the affected tissue. Only 10 days after the procedure, Mohammed returned to work.
Dr Aljanabi said: "Contrary to standard open surgeries, which often last twice as long and leave patients recovering for more than a month, laparoscopy results in smooth post-operational recuperation and a significant restoration of the shape of the abdomen without stitches, marks and scars."
The procedure, which uses a video camera and various surgical instruments, requires surgeons to develop special hand-eye coordination skills, adding to the technical complexity of this surgical approach.
The doctors expect an increase in demand for this type of treatment in the UAE as colonic pathology, including polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, benign and malignant tumours, is on the rise, with colorectal cancer considered the second most common and fatal cancer, according to statistics published by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).