Sidra Medicine performed the first open-heart surgery in its newly opened Heart Center in July. The Sidra Medicine Heart Center is one of the institution’s flagship programs and is positioned to become a leading center in the region for patients suffering from congenital heart disease. Patients in Qatar and the region now have access to state-of-the-art equipment and an international team of experts able to perform the most complex cardiological procedures in Qatar, eliminating the need to travel abroad for care.
The first open-heart surgery was performed on a three-year old patient who was diagnosed with atrial septal defect, which manifests as a hole in the heart. Dr. Olivier Ghez, Sidra Medicine’s Division Chief of Cardiac Surgery, led a multidisciplinary team of 10 medical professionals during the successful 2-hour surgery to correct the defect. The team included Dr. Reema Kamal who is a Qatari division chief of cardiology.
“My family and I are so thankful for the care we received at Sidra Medicine. The doctors and allied staff were so supportive and helpful throughout the entire process and our son was discharged in less than one week. I am relieved that we could access the right care so close to home and so efficiently,” said the boy’s mother.
Dr. Ghez, a renowned congenital cardiac surgeon who joined Sidra Medicine from the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, UK is known for his expertise in neonatal and pediatric cardiac surgery.He said: “I am very proud to have performed the first open heart surgery at Sidra Medicine. I would like to thank all the doctors, nurses and the incredible allied staff for the role they played in this operation. We can now offer world-class care for the most complex of cardiac patients here at Sidra Medicine and have already been very busy with children in need of the team’s expertise.”
The Sidra Medicine Heart Center provides a wide range of services including cardiac surgery, interventional therapies, electrophysiological therapies, cardiac anesthesia, perfusion, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), cardiac intensive care, non-invasive cardiology, outpatient and inpatient cardiac care, as well as fetal cardiology.
“The Heart Center aims to provide comprehensive care to children and adults with congenital heart disease by harnessing the expertise of an internationally renowned team and a model that represents a fusion of best practices from around the world,” said Dr. Ziyad Hijazi, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Sidra Medicine and the Director of Sidra Heart Center.
The Heart Center is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities designed to enable clinical teams to achieve the highest standard of care and the best possible experience for patients and their caregivers.
- Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Labs: Sidra Medicine currently has three cardiac catehterizations suites. One of the rooms is dedicated to advanced electrophysiological procedures with 3D mapping equipment. Another room is a Siemens hybrid suite equipped with an advanced catheterization machine in an operating room environment. This room, which is the only one of its kind in the Middle East,enables the team to work hand-in-hand on complex cases that will require open-chest surgery and interventional therapy at the same time.
- Cardiac Operating Theater: Among the many operating theaters at Sidra Medicine, one room is dedicated to cardiac surgical procedures. This room is equipped with the lastest technology to enable surgeons to perform the most complex operations on the tiniest of patients.
- Non-Invasive Imaging: The Heart Center has ample space to see nine patients simultaneously. Each room has a state-of-the-art Philips IE33 echo machine. Further, the center has a high-tech Exercise Laboratory which enables the team to assess cardiac patients and evaluate their abilities to enroll in athletic activities.
“As a result of the team and equipment we have at Sidra Medicine, we are able to offer treatment unavailable elsewhere in the region and globally. For example, the Siemens hybrid suite in our cath lab is the only such room in the Middle East. It allows the team to work hand-in-hand on complex cases that require open-chest surgery and interventional therapy at the same time. The team is also able to perform procedures not being done elsewhere. For example, in a case of reverse tourism in March, we had our first patient who flew to Sidra Medicine from the U.S. to receive the Venus P-Valve not available there,” added Dr. Hijazi.