Dr Jamal Kassouma, Consultant ENT Surgeon at Dubai Hospital who performed the surgery, with the boy Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Hospital doctors were able to restore the breathing of a three-year-old boy from a Gulf Cooperation Council country who had been suffering from obstruction of the larynx since birth, which caused him to suffer from severe shortness of breath.

The child was operated upon immediately after birth in his home country to create an emergency opening in the neck and a tube had been placed to help create a breathing pathway. The parents came to Dubai and approached Dubai Hospital for treatment due to the hospital’s expertise in complex ENT surgeries.

Reconstructed larynx

The medical team conducted an in-depth diagnosis of the tests. They decided to perform a laryngotracheoplasty surgery, which was required to establish a permanent, stable airway for the child to breathe through without the use of a breathing tube. Surgery would also improve voice and swallowing issues. First surgeons reconstructed the larynx and the trachea using cartilage graft, which was taken from the child’s thoracic cage.

Cartilage graft used

Dr Jamal Kassouma, Consultant ENT Surgeon at Dubai Hospital who performed the surgery said: “The two-hour laryngotracheoplasty surgery was performed four months ago under general anesthesia after diagnosis using the endoscope and CT scan of the trachea. Cartilage graft which was taken from the thoracic cage of the patient to reconstruct the stenotic area, which is the lower part of the larynx and the upper part of the trachea to widen the lumen of the airway. We placed a stent in the trachea to hold it in position for a few months. The stent was removed few days back and the child managed to breathe and speak normally.”

Dr Kassouma said that the child left the hospital last week and is in good health and would need medical follow-up for a month and endoscopic procedures to ensure that the airway is healed and that there are no constrictions or fibrosis after surgery.

High precision surgery

Dr Kassouma said high-level of precision and accuracy is needed in this type of operation that requires a lot of experience and knowledge, referring to many similar cases that were treated at Dubai Hospital. Dr Kassouma added that 11 similar cases were performed in Dubai hospital that were referred from other hospitals in the region and the hosptial had carried out the first similar procedure in the UAE, almost nine years ago.

State-of-the art system

Dr Hussein Taleb, Consultant and Head of the Ear, Nose and Throat Department at Dubai Hospital, stressed the great interest that the Dubai Health Authority attaches to the development of medical departments in its various hospitals, which possess advanced capabilities in terms of devices, technologies, smart solutions and qualified medical competencies capable of dealing with various ailments and conditions. This contributes to enhancing the competitiveness of the health system in Dubai. He referred to the various services provided by the ENT department at Dubai Hospital, such as cochlear implants, complex ear surgeries, endoscopic laryngeal surgeries, and navigational surgery, in addition to other services.