In March 2022, Ibrahim Rabiu was flown in to UAE from Nigeria for treatment. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: In a first-of-its-kind surgery, a Dubai-based paediatric surgeon was able to save the kidney of an 18-month-old Nigerian child who was suffering from a rare cystic lesion (Ceco-ureterocele) of the urinary bladder that happens one in 100,000 newborn male babies.

Child in pain

In March 2022, Ibrahim Rabiu’s distressed parents flew in to UAE from Nigeria with their child, to consult Dr Kamalesh Pal, specialist paediatric surgeon and paediatric urologist at Fakeeh University Hospital, Dubai. Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Pal elaborated on the case. “Baby Ibrahim was in great pain and was in obvious discomfort while passing urine. Doctors in Nigeria were able to diagnose his condition only partially and the child was sent to the international patient referral agencies,” Dr Pal said.

Rare congenital lesion

Dr Kamalesh Pal

Dr Pal continued: “Upon evaluation of his condition, we found the child had a very uncommon cystic lesion that began in his bladder. Since it was a congenital defect and had started in the womb, the cyst had completed affected the child’s right kidney, which had zero functionality. He had a swollen left kidney, which was also getting affected by this condition. The lesion had involved the kidneys, bladder and urethra.”

Through a planned surgery in phases, the team lead by Dr Pal first performed a procedure called Cystoscopic de-roofing, an urgent decompression of the lesion to relieve the obstruction. A few weeks later, Laparoscopic right nephro-ureterectomy (removal of the right kidney) was carried out.

Complete solution

In addition, Dr Pal conducted a Pneumo-Vesicoscopic Excision of bladder lesion and did a left ureteric re-implantation. These state-of-the art, minimally invasive procedures were carried out by using fine instruments and techniques, which rendered minimal pain/distress, thereby ensuring recovery within a couple of days. This enabled resumption of normal urinary functions in the child, who was able to return to his hometown with his parents soon after the surgery.

Ibrahim with his father Rabiu Umar. Image Credit: Supplied

Quick intervention

Dr Pal added: “We were happy to provide a complete solution to the child’s condition and also save his kidney. The child will now require regular follow-up. We would like to tell [the parents and guardians] of other young patients with similar condition to seek medical help urgently, when a similar congenital anomaly is noticed. Timely intervention can not only prevent pain and further deterioration of the condition, but can also save the healthy kidneys in time.”

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‘Impressed with quality of care’

The relieved father of the child, Rabiu Umar, told Gulf News: “I was quite impressed with the quality of care. Everything — right from the facility [at the hospital], to friendliness of the staff and the procedure itself — was handled in a professional and caring manner.”