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Cardiac surgeons at Dubai Hospital performed a complex emergency cardiac surgery that saved the life of a 37-year-old expatriate from Thailand.

The surgery lasted 18 hours was carried out to correct a Type A aortic dissection, which is a life-threatening condition requiring immediate surgical intervention, according to the top official of the hospital.

Abdulrahman Al Jassmi, CEO of Dubai Hospital, said, “Dubai Hospital has been a pioneer in providing specialised care across a spectrum of health specialties. In cardiothoracic surgery, we have carried out several such complicated cases and this is due to the highly qualified doctors, nurses and technicians we have, and the use of latest technology to provide the best quality patient-centred care.”

Dr Obaid Al Jassim, Senior Consultant in Cardiovascular and Cardiothoracic surgery at Dubai Hospital said, “Aortic dissection is at the forefront of complex operations, in terms of risk and direct threat to a patient’s life. In such situations, quick and precise intervention is necessary as this condition can lead to massive bleeding around the heart and shut down the body’s vital organs such as the brain, kidneys, liver and can lead to immediate death.”

In addition to Dr Al Jassim and Al Zamkan, who performed the surgery, the team consisted of Dr Tariq Abdul Aziz, Senior Specialist Cardiac Surgeon; Mohannad Al Asaad, Cardiothoracic Specialist; Aseem Pawar, Cardiothoracic Specialist and  Dr Fayaz Qazi Consultant in Cardiac Anaesthesia.  

Dr Bassil Al Zamkan, Senior Consultant in Cardiovascular and Cardiothoracic surgery at Dubai Hospital, said, “Aortic dissection is a serious life-threatening condition in which the inner layer of the aorta (the large blood vessel branching off the heart) tears. Blood surges through the tear, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate. In this case, the patient underwent a three-month treatment before stenting of the whole Aortic dissection type B, which
means the stent reached the proximal part of the ascending aortic, including two of the three major vessels that supply blood to the brain.”

Therefore, the doctors faced a huge challenge to repair the defect in the stented area and at the same time maintain the blood flow to the brain.

“In an innovative method that was not practised before, we decided to modify a technique to repair the defect, to minimise the high risk of these procedures and to save the patient’s life. This was needed to stop the bleeding, replace the torn blood vessels and ensure the functioning of the heart.”

For this type of an open-heart surgery, extensive preparation is needed. A rare smart and advanced technique was also used to provide a continuous supply of blood to the brain throughout the surgery even when blood circulation to the rest of the body is stopped. The patient was discharged after two weeks in excellent condition.