Sidra Medicine marks one-year anniversary of unique children’s service


Only one of its kind in the region, Short Bowel Multidisciplinary Service celebrates patient successes

Doha, Qatar, 28 October 2018: Sidra Medicine today shared updates about two challenging cases from its Pediatric Short Bowel Multidisciplinary Service. The service was launched last year featuring a multidisciplinary team of clinical experts and allied health professionals. The team were recently involved in the major life saving surgery and care of two children – Baby Aisha age 16 months and Baby Andrea age 10 months.

The Pediatric Short Bowel Multidisciplinary service offers care for patients with Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS), a condition which affects the function of the bowel in assisting the child to receive proper nutrients. SBS can also cause liver failure due to the specialized nutritional fluids, called parenteral nutrition that patients with this condition receive.

Dr. Mansour Ali, Chair of Pediatric Surgery at Sidra Medicine, explained that the centralized caregiving for children with SBS which is now available at Sidra Medicine is a major contribution to helping children survive and lead comfortable lives. “For many years, patients with chronic diseases such as Short Bowel Syndrome did not receive the optimum care in the sense that they would have to make several visits to the hospital in a short period of time. Now they can come to Sidra Medicine where every aspect of the child’s needs will be addressed by the same members of a multidisciplinary team,” he said.

Baby Aisha

In mid-2017 doctors at Sidra Medicine in collaboration with colleagues from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) treated Baby Aisha. Aisha was born preterm and suffered a severe form of necrotizing enterocolitis that left her with only a 10-cm-long small bowel, an extremely severe case of SBS.

Dr. Guy Brisseau, Senior Attending Surgeon and Dr. Basem Khalil, Attending Surgeon at Sidra Medicine convinced the family, who had originally planned to take her to the U.S. for care, to treat her here in Qatar.

Dr. Khalil has 13 years of expertise in dealing with SBS cases at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in the UK, home of one of the world’s largest SBS units and the first unit in the world to perform bowel lengthening for this condition. Dr Khalil was one of two Consultant Surgeons that led the internationally renowned unit at Manchester that received children with SBS from all over Europe. Dr. Brisseau is a leading pediatric general and thoracic surgeon as well as an acclaimed surgical educator. He is also an advanced minimally invasive surgeon and an expert in pediatric trauma.

The expert team under Dr. Brisseau and Dr. Khalil, oversaw a liver rescue regime with simultaneous controlled tissue expansion of her remaining bowel, making her the first patient in Qatar to receive such unique and technically challenging treatment. The treatment worked and Aisha underwent a successful bowel lengthening and was discharged home and continues to be followed up by the specialist team at Sidra Medicine and Qatar’s Home Care service based at Hamad Medical Corporation.

“When I was called onto Aisha’s case, nobody believed she would make it. The outstanding resources provided right here in Qatar, the backing of the leadership to do anything and everything we could, and the incredible teams at HMC and Sidra Medicine gave Baby Aisha a chance at survival. The biggest contributing factor to Baby Aisha’s survival was how closely we worked as a team,” said Dr. Khalil.

Baby Andrea

Along with Dr. Basem Khalil, Sidra Medicine’s Chief Clinical Services Officer Dr. David Sigalet is one of two world-leading experts at Sidra Medicine working with patients with SBS. “After seeing the cases that I did and witnessing the high mortality rate of this condition first hand, I made a resolution to do anything I could to help these babies,” said Dr. Sigalet who has conducted research to help improve SBS treatment for over 25 years.

Baby Andrea was born prematurely and also suffered from severe necrotizing enterocolitis. Most of her bowel was affected and she was left with only 15cm of bowel that was not affected by the disease. Dr Sigalet operated on Baby Andrea and using specialized techniques that allowed some of the damaged bowel to recover, the team at Sidra Medicine were able to preserve an extra 18 cm of the bowel. Baby Andrea also underwent a successful liver rescue treatment and she has now been discharged home as well and continues to be followed up by the specialist team.

Andrea’s father Frankie Famillaran, Clinical Nurse Educator in Sidra Medicine’s Emergency Department, said the excellent level of care his daughter is receiving has changed his perspective on his own role as a caregiver. “I have now been on both sides, as a care receiver and a caregiver. As a father I was of course worried and nervous for my daughter, but the high quality of care we are receiving at Sidra Medicine has helped ease all my worries.”

Commenting on the success of the surgeries, Dr. Mansour Ali concluded: “It gives me great pride to see our approach to patient care becoming a part of a legacy of what multidisciplinary programs should look like. We are seeking to assure families in Qatar, in the region and other neighboring countries, that we have the capability, the teams and the expertise to perform such highly complex pediatric surgeries at Sidra Medicine. The success of the two short bowel syndrome surgeries highlights our continued commitment to our vision to make Sidra Medicine a beacon of learning, discovery and exceptional care.”


About Sidra Medicine

Sidra Medicine provides specialized healthcare to women, children, and young people from Qatar and around the world. It is a private hospital for public benefit.

Established by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, Sidra Medicine embraces best practice medical education, innovative biomedical and clinical research and discovery, and exceptional patient and family focused care. This unique combination makes Sidra Medicine one of the handful of healthcare organizations in the world that embeds the concept of personalized medicine into its very ethos of treatment and care.

Sidra Medicine provides comprehensive specialist healthcare services for children and young people, as well as maternity and gynecology care for women. Some of its unique children’s specialist services include Cardiology, Neurology, Urology and Plastics & Craniofacial Reconstruction. It is also treats and cares for pregnant women with fetal complications.

The ultramodern healthcare organization is a testament to Qatar’s pioneering spirit and sustained commitment to its human and social development.

To access Sidra Medicine services, and learn more about our contribution to global healthcare, education and research, please visit