A multidisciplinary team made up of clinical experts from Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) have made medical history by successfully performing a series of hugely complex surgeries for the first time in the Middle East. Over the past two years, the team have worked tirelessly to save the life of a baby boy through multiple procedures designed to correct birth defects resulting from OEIS Syndrome, a rare and life threatening condition which can prove fatal in 95 to 99 per cent of cases.
The hugely experienced interdisciplinary medical team led by Sidra’s Division Chief of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, Dr. Abdalla Zarroug, comprised of pediatric surgeons, pediatric urologists, pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatric neurosurgeons and pediatric orthopedic surgeons have worked closely together to conduct more than seven pain-staking and highly complex surgical procedures to save the life of the young patient, baby Mohamed, who was born to an Egyptian family living in Qatar in 2014.
During the most recent of these, an operation conducted in October 2016, which lasted more than 12 hours, the team led by Joao Luiz Pippi Salle, Sidra’s Division Chief of Pediatric Urology, successfully conducted bladder exstrophy surgery to repair the baby’s bladder, as well as ventral hernia repair, genital reconstruction and gastrostomy tube placement. This marked the latest of the more complex procedures needed to correct the specific set of malformations affecting the baby and which are caused by OEIS.
Mohamed’s medical journey began in his mother’s womb following an early diagnosis of possible OEIS Syndrome during a prenatal ultrasound conducted by Sidra’s Division Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine Dr. Karim Kalache and Dr. Sawsan Al-Obaidly from HMC. The expert team of physicians from Sidra and HMC developed the necessary treatment plan to secure the best possible outcomes for baby Mohamed. Diseases of such complexity require that medical teams are able to draw on the expertise and experience of a full range medical professionals and institutions. In this case, the team of more than 30 clinicians worked in close harmony during the past twenty four months, each playing a major part in helping to save the patient’s life. Their success provides an important blueprint for effective collaboration between medical experts and institutions in Qatar and elsewhere across the region.
“Modern medical care of complex pediatric diseases such as OEIS requires a multi-disciplinary approach of true experts coming together to create an individualized plan for each patient. Although each clinician has an important role or procedure to oversee, all medical decisions need to be coordinated to the patient’s needs; it’s the team that makes the difference nowadays and it’s incredibly satisfying to see that, as a result of experts coming together in a patient-centered manner, baby Mohamed is now thriving,” said Dr. Abdalla Zarroug.
The surgical team headed by Sidra’s Dr. Abdalla Zarroug included HMC’s Dr. Mansour Ali, Head of Pediatric Surgery at HMC, Sidra’s Dr. Jason Howard, Division Chief of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. David Sigalet, Chair of the Department of Surgery, Dr. Khalid Al-Kharazi, Acting Division Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Sidra’s Dr. Joao Luiz Pippi Salle. Allied health professionals and support staff, including dieticians also played a key role in saving baby Mohamed by keeping him healthy and strong, supporting his recovery from the lengthy surgeries.
“The first year was very hard. It was full of surgeries and hospitalizations. The doctors had to take a number of steps to close his bladder and position internal organs inside his body, bring together his hip bones, repair his reproductive organs and more. We had an additional complication to deal with in that he was not gaining enough weight to properly heal from the various surgeries that his little body had to endure. We’re incredibly grateful to the whole team for everything they have done for our son,” said baby Mohamed’s mother Shaimaa.
“The success of highly complex surgeries like this depends on a broad range of experience and expertise, as well as a fully multi-disciplinary approach to patient care. This particular case required the skills and capabilities of a team of over 30 people from Sidra and HMC working in close collaboration with one another to secure the best possible outcomes for the patient. The results are a clear testament to the quality and caliber of the practitioners at Sidra and HMC and we’re incredibly proud of this success. This case represents a real milestone for clinical practice in the Middle East,” concluded Sidra’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Morris.