Complex Made Simple

Emirati surgeons conduct innovative surgery

A first for Emirati surgeons at Mafraq Hospital

Emirati doctors Salem Al Harthi and Abdulqader Musaabi conducted a Laparoscopic assisted transgastric endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) after a gastric bypass on a patient with common bile duct stones.

Laparoscopic (also known as minimally invasive) surgery refers to a special technique by which the surgeon performs the surgery through several small holes in the abdomen with the aid of a camera. These incisions are much smaller than those required using traditional surgical techniques. The vast majority of common conventional surgery in the abdomen is now carried out safely, quickly and efficiently through a number of small, relatively painless incisions. Many of these procedures are performed as day surgery. There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery – pain and hemorrhaging are reduced due to smaller incisions and recovery times are shorter.

The most common problems seen in the Gastroenterology Department are caused by the presence of gallstones in the gallbladder. If the stones are large (half an inch or more in size), they can block the outlet of the gallbladder, leading to inflammation, severe pain and occasionally perforation. The majority of gallbladder problems can now be corrected with laparoscopic surgery.

An Emirati patient came to Mafraq Hospital having previously had bariatric (weight loss) surgery. She had gall stones as a consequence of her bariatric surgery and a stone had fallen into her bile duct during laparoscopic gall bladder removal performed two weeks earlier at a different hospital. Doctors Al Harthi and Musabbi were able to use a laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures to successfully remove the gall stone from the patient’s bile duct and the patient was discharged home the next day.

Dr Salem Al Harthi, Consultant, Surgical Department, Mafraq Hospital, said: “I did two years of sub specialty training in surgical gastroenterology in Cape Town, South Africa and part of my training was laparoscopic and endoscopic surgery. I was trained by three world renowned professors in the field of gastroenterology and we performed similar cases in Cape Town. As both Dr Musaabi and I have both performed this type of surgery previously with very positive outcomes it was a logical step for this patient.”

“These surgeries can be extremely complex and, in order to ensure a high quality clinical practice, all our physicians bring world class skills to our hospital.” Mr Ahmed Al Merhairbi, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mafraq Hospital added.

“We are fortunate that we have this international expertise at our finger tips which mean we can offer surgery that is in line with international best practices and, most importantly, results.”