UAE’s ‘tiniest preemie to undergo surgery’ survives


premature baby, surgery, UAE, health, Abu Dhabi Health

Abu Dhabi - The baby underwent surgery on the fifth day after birth.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Wed 23 Oct 2019, 10:34 AM

Last updated: Fri 25 Oct 2019, 11:49 AM

Born at 26 weeks with an intestinal problem and weighing only 600g, an Emirati baby in Abu Dhabi can be considered one of the UAE’s tiniest fighters, doctors said. He survived against all odds.

Five days after his birth, the premature baby had to undergo an emergency operation, when doctors at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) noticed that he was vomitting a green substance.

An X-ray examination showed that his large intestine had ruptured because of an accummulation of stool and blockage.

- Three holes — not exceeding 3mm — were pierced in the baby’s abdomen
- His stomach that was full of stool was cleaned up 
- Then, the intestinal holes were stitched
- He is believed to be the UAE’s youngest, tiniest baby to undergo surgery so the operation was handled with diligence and extra care
At that time, his stomach was already filled with stool so the surgery had to be done immediately.

“He is being considered the youngest and tiniest premature baby in the UAE to undergo surgery,” according to doctors.

It was a challenging operation, especially because some of his organs hadn’t fully grown yet, said Dr Adel Ali Al Junaibi, consultant paediatric urologist and endoscopic surgeon at the SKMC.

“His intestines were thin and vulnerable to tear due to partial growth,” said Dr Al Janaibi.

“We immediately operated on the baby after the X-ray test confirmed that there was a rupture in his large intestine due to accumulation of stool and blockage.”
Laparoscopic surgery
He said that in most cases like these, surgery is done by opening the abdomen with a surgical incision.

“But since the SKMC is a centre of excellence in laparoscopic surgery for children, we used the endoscope for surgery,” he explained, adding that this method comes with very few complications.

Patient recovery will be quicker, and no scars will be left on the child’s body, he added.

The operation was conducted by piercing three holes — each not exceeding 3mm — in the baby’s abdomen, the doctor explained.

“The stomach was full of stool caused by the ruptured intestine. After cleaning the abdomen, the intestinal holes were stitched,” said Al Junaibi.

Given the tiny size of the child, it was one of the most complicated cases that required utmost diligence and extra care.

The operation was a success.The child spent 10 days in the intensive care unit, then he gradually regained his ability to breastfeed. He was discharged in a very good condition, doctors said.

In such cases, regular check-ups are a must until the child is two years old.

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