Complex Made Simple

UAE’s SKMC reaches new milestone

UAE’s Most Comprehensive Electrophysiology Service at SKMC Reaches New Milestone.

The SEHA heart rhythm team at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) has reached a new milestone, as part of the most comprehensive electrophysiology (EP) service in the UAE which focuses on heart rhythm conditions.

1000 cardiac ablation procedures have now taken place at the flagship facility, which is managed by Cleveland Clinic, since its inception in 2006. The EP lab has conducted as many as 400 procedures in 2014, as well as seeing more than 4,000 outpatients per year.

The heart has a specialised internal electrical system that controls the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat, and cardiac EP is a subspecialty within cardiology that focuses on heart rhythm conditions – including conditions that affect the speed as well as the regularity of its beats.

Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that is used when medications fail to treat heart rhythm disorders including atrial fibrillation, a condition that typically causes fast and irregular heartbeats. Cryoblation (freezing) or radiofrequency energy (high heat) is applied to the trigerring cardiac tissue to help prevent abnormal rhythm.

The 1000thEP patient at SKMC was a 51 year old athletic male, who was referred for symptoms of heart racing while exercising. The EP team ran a stress test which reproduced his symptoms and recorded an abnormal rhythm. An invasive EP study was then conducted alongside 3D mapping which identified the source of this abnormal rhythm, and the area was then treated with radiofrequency energy. The patient was discharged the following day.

“This case highlights the developments we have seen in the SEHA EP service since its inception a few years ago. We now have the capacity to map and treat complex arrhythmias using advanced 3-dimensional mapping systems and state-of-the-art catheters and energy sources. Without SEHA’s comprehensive EP service, we would not have had the technology and specialists on hand to treat the patient and send him home a day later,” said Dr. Alawi Alsheikh-Ali, Chair of Cardiac Sciences at SKMC and consultant electrophysiologist, who is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology.

“Reaching 1000 catheter ablation procedures is a milestone we are truly proud of, and is a testament to the support we have from both SEHA as well as SKMC. It means that we are able to provide the highest quality care, most advanced technology, and best possible outcomes for our patients,” added Dr. Omer Elhag, Head of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service and Consultant Electrophysiologist at SKMC, and Member of the Royal College of Physicians.

The SEHA heart rhythm team at SKMC offers a comprehensive EP service in the UAE. The unique service is led by specialist Emirati electrophysiologists who understand the needs and requirements of the local population within Abu Dhabi. As many as 40% of the EP service’s patients are local, reflecting the confidence that the facility holds within the community.

SKMC, managed by Cleveland Clinic, is part of the SEHA HealthSystem and owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA), which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.