The American Hospital Dubai was the ‘Hospital Partner’ to ground-breaking medical conferences which took place in Dubai; the Middle East’s first Thyroid Cancer Conference; the world’s first Congress on Endoscopic Ear Surgery; as well as the annual Middle East Otolaryngology Conference and Exhibition.
All three events took place from 19th to 21st April 2015 at the Madinat Arena, Dubai.
Senior physicians from the hospital played leading roles from co-chair of the organizing committee to program director and planning committee members.
The Annual Middle East Otolaryngology Conference attracted ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) and related medical professionals from across the region, and included the world’s first congress dedicated specifically to Endoscopic Ear Surgery. Dr. Muaaz Tarabichi, an American Board Certified ENT surgeon and Head of the ENT Department at the American Hospital Dubai, was Co-Chair of the Conference Organising Committee.
Dr. Muaaz Tarabichi has himself pioneered a new surgical technique for an ear condition commonly found in the UAE, by using an endoscope (a surgical instrument which carries a small camera and light to the point of treatment inside the body). Ear surgeries are primarily performed using a microscope but endoscopy provides a better field of view into the ear reduces surgery time and speeds up recovery.
Dr. Muaaz Tarabichi, who leads the ENT department at the American Hospital Dubai including the Cochlear Implant Center of Excellence, commented: “This annual conference has been an important event for ENT specialists across the Middle East, who learnt more about international developments in the field and shared their own experiences with peers. This year we had a separate event to examine endoscopic ear surgery and this is a major step forward and a ground-breaking milestone for Dubai. It is a vitally important issue in a region where around one per cent of the population suffers from some kind of hearing loss or abnormality.”
The new Thyroid Cancer Conference featured some of the world’s most renowned surgeons in the field who shared their experiences and exchanged ideas on the latest international guidelines, new genetic markers, new surgery technologies, and the new concept of targeted therapy. Dr. Carmelo Barbaccia (Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon with a special interest in thyroid and salivary gland surgery, neck lumps, and general head and neck diseases), and Dr Donatella Casiglia (Endocrinologist with a special interest in thyroid cancer) from the American Hospital Dubai were both involved in organising and presenting the conference.
Dr. Donatella Casiglia commented: “Thyroid cancer is a common form of cancer and we follow up many patients surgically who then need post operative radioiodine therapy, to complete the treatment. The American Hospital Dubai was the first private hospital in the UAE to be licensed to provide radioiodine therapy to thyroid cancer patients, as part of our comprehensive care for thyroid cancer patients. Radioiodine (iodine 131) is used in radiation therapy for thyroid cancer patients after surgery, to destroy any remaining cancer cells and to lower the risk of a recurrence of the disease.”
According to the American Cancer Society, the chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has risen in recent years and it is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the US. Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. Nearly 2 out of 3 cases are found in people younger than 55 years of age. About 2% of thyroid cancers occur in children and teens. Thyroid cancers start in the thyroid gland (located in the neck) that makes hormones that regulate the human body’s metabolism; they account for around 1.5% of all cancer cases and have an especially good survival rate. Thyroid cancer is three times more common in women than men. Although thyroid cancer patients are at relatively low risk, appropriate treatment and long term follow up is necessary to reduce the risk of recurrence of the disease and mortality.