Dr. Helmy with his patient's fmaily
Dr Mohammed Ahmed Helmy with his patient Image Credit: Supplied

Zulekha Hospital Dubai and Sharjah have a comprehensive team of cardiac surgeons and specialists attending to high-risk cardiac emergencies. The cardiac surgery departments in both facilities accept and treat critical emergency patients from hospitals across other emirates in UAE. Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is being performed at the hospital facilities since 2017. More than a 175 open heart surgeries have been performed by the cardiac team with majority of the procedures being operated by Consultant Cardiac Surgeon Professor Dr Mohammed Ahmed Helmy who has over thirty years of experience in the field. He is a Professor of Cardiac Surgery at Cairo University Kasr Al Eainy Hospital. He has served as a Consultant of Cardiac Surgery at Nasser Institute Hospital and Dar Al Fouad Hospital, Sohag Centre of Cardiac Surgery. To his credit, Dr Helmy holds a Certification in Advanced Training for Cardiac Surgery 2002-2003 from Jean Monnet University, St. Etienne, France.

The cardiac patients undergoing CABG procedures ranged between the age groups of 28 and 78 for CABG. These procedures have had excellent results exceeding the international standards for success rates of 99 per cent. Among the patients seen by Dr. Helmy, nearly 50 per cent were between the age of 35 and 50. He says, “The lower age group among patients is a worldwide phenomenon due to stress and the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia and the unhealthy lifestyles. Younger adults with a highly positive family history must be cautious and screen themselves for heart diseases periodically.”

The team is credited with unmatched acumen of managing older fragile high-risk patients with successful outcome, low mortality and long term survival rates. Two young adults aged 28 and 33 were recently operated and have been recovering very well post-surgery. Another 62-year-old Indian expat operated in 2017 never misses a day without sharing a thank you note with Dr Helmy for his care. He writes, “With the mercy of Almighty and your best blessings, this is my 7th year after a bypass surgery, thank you for everything you have done to help me.”

The team was recently honoured by the Dubai Health Authority commending the attention to detail and commitment to high quality standards of care given to patients. Any open heart surgery is a team work, with about 15 personnel working together in harmony to achieve the best outcome for the patient. The cardiac team at Zulekha Hospital has been able to achieve this feat with the cooperation of the team that ensures the patients receive the best medical and emotional care. Any patient is never left unattended post-surgery. Compassionate nurses and doctors together with highly experienced and skilled surgeons, anaesthetists and intensivists ensure complete focus on patient’s safety and well-being.

The different types of complex cardiac surgeries include a heart failure with triple valve replacement and Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures, combined CABG procedures with excision of a cardiac tumors, and high risk emergency cardiac surgeries for acute complicated aortic dissection and valvular diseases.

Advice to cardiac patients

Patients should change their lifestyle by choosing a healthy diet rich in fibers, whole grain cereals, raw nuts, fruits including avocado, vegetables, eat fish twice a week, and fish rich in omega-3 which provides heart protection. Individuals who are hypertensive and diabetic and those above 40 years should periodically perform a test to check the cholesterol levels in blood, and also patients with a positive family history of heart diseases should seek medical advice and consultation from a cardiology expert.

Patients undergoing CABG surgeries must follow a low fat/cholesterol diet and valve patients must restrict green leaves when they take an anticoagulant after the valve surgery. Parents seeing any abnormal symptoms in children such as blue coloration around lips, breathing difficulties, fatigue etc. must seek expert advice and check immediately, because many cases are diagnosed late, and later the diagnosis the more the risk of the surgery.

Overall, managing stress levels, including light exercises in our daily routine and eating wisely will contribute to a healthy heart and a better lifestyle.

"The lower age group among patients is a worldwide phenomenon due to stress and the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia and the unhealthy lifestyles.”

- Professor Dr Mohammed Ahmed Helmy, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, Zulekha Hospital

“A patient with uncontrolled hypertension has about a 30 per cent higher incidence of suffering from stroke, atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, and peripheral arterial disease.”

- Dr Jayachandran Thejus, Specialist Interventional Cardiology, Zulekha Hospital

“Patients with uncontrolled hypertension mostly suffer from reduced quality of life due to shortness of breath, dizzy spells, and decreased tolerance for exertion.”

- Dr Mahmoud Farouk, Consultant Interventional Cardiology, Zulekha Hospital