Thursday, 2024-05-09

Two-year-old undergoes rare tumour surgery at Tawam Hospital

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 9 May, 2024: The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), a subsidiary of PureHealth – the largest healthcare platform in the Middle East, has announced that Tawam Hospital has successfully conducted a surgical procedure to remove a rare tumour on a two-year-old kid suffering from a life-threatening condition.


The extraordinary procedure was done under the expert guidance of Dr. Edward Alexander Black, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon and Dr Mohammed Al Nuaimi, Consultant Paediatric Haematologist at Tawam Hospital.


The two-year-old Sara’s medical journey began in September 2023 when her parents observed persistent coughing. A subsequent chest x-ray revealed a sizeable right-sided thoracic mass, displacing the whole of her right lung and heart into the left side of her chest so also compressing her left lung. Despite earlier assessments that deemed surgery impossible due to the extreme high risk, Sara’s parents sought alternative solutions and brought her to Tawam Hospital. 


Sara’s case was presented to the Tawam Paediatric Oncology Multi-Disciplinary Team, which suggested a confirmatory biopsy. This revealed a low-grade sarcoma, a rare tumour and given its nature, complete removal was the only option for her as chemotherapy would have been ineffective. Surgery had a very high risk to Sarah’s short life but without it there was certainly no hope she would continue to live. She was already almost unable to breath with only half of one lung working and her heart so pressured.


The thoracic surgery team lead by Dr Black and joined by Dr Mariam Al Marashda considered the surgery carefully and planned the steps and safeguards including how to manage the large size of the tumour. The whole of the right lung and her heart was pushed over to the left of side of her small body. “How to protect her heart and working half of her left lung during surgery was a major priority” said Dr Black. However he had developed a large experience of such heart and lung surgeries in Oxford, UK, before and was confident that there was enough chance to make the space to separate the tumour from her heart without straining her too much. It would be risky but she was certain to perish without the surgery. In addition novel sealants and energy devices were used to minimise blood loss and stability in complex surgery. There would be no margin for error. 


Surgery was done with precision and required coordination and careful team work with the anaesthetists lead by Dr Mohamed Adnan Kari. The 800g tumour had to be lifted away from the heart during the surgery where she could only use half of her left lung, the right already being crushed by the tumour. There was so little room in her tiny two year old body a specific combination of incisions was used to provide space for the surgical team’s finger tips and the tumour until it was finally free. At the end of the operation the tumour was completely removed from the front of her spine, lung, heart and oesophagus without complication. After an 11-day recovery period in hospital, Sara was declared fit for discharge. 


Sara remains under the continued care of Dr. Al Nuaimi, undergoing a low-dose chemotherapy regimen. Her recovery is a testimony to the collaborative expertise of Tawam Hospital’s surgical, oncological, anaesthetic and intensive care teams.


Dr Dalal Al Mansoori, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Tawam Hospital, said: “Every success story at Tawam Hospital reflects our commitment to pushing the boundaries of medical possibilities. Sara’s journey is a reflection of the resilience of our team that defines our approach to healthcare. We celebrate her recovery as a symbol of hope and the extraordinary capabilities that emerge when expertise and compassion converge.” 


Dr Mohammed Al Nuaimi, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Tawam Hospital, said: “Sara’s case exemplifies our commitment to specialised paediatric oncology. The successful procedure underscores the expertise and dedication of our medical team.” 


Dr Edward Alexander Black, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon at Tawam, said:Collaboration and determination were integral to Sara’s successful surgery. I have been perfomring complex cases for many years and felt confident in the team here in Tawam. Our multi-disciplinary approach and precision in thoracic surgery highlight Tawam Hospital’s capabilities in handling complex cases, particularly in the realm of thoracic surgery.”


Under PureHealth's guidance and SEHA’s directions, the hospital has repositioned itself as a specialized center for oncology, pediatric care, and women’s health. PureHealth maintains its unwavering dedication to enriching lives and fostering a positive impact on individuals and communities. This steadfast commitment consistently reinforces Abu Dhabi and the UAE's global reputation as a leading healthcare hub and a pioneer in groundbreaking medical accomplishments.


To find out more about SEHA’s specialised clinic, or book an appointment, call 80050 or visit SEHA.ae. You can also book an appointment through the SEHA mobile app, or WhatsApp 02 410 2200.


 To learn more, please visit www.purehealth.ae