Dubai: For Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) bus driver Rafqat Abbasi and his wife Sabina Biwi the start to the New Year couldn’t probably have been any better as their first-born son Abdul Hadi, who is seven months old now, has been cured of Spina Bifida completely. Little Abdul Hadi can now look forward to an absolutely normal life.
Surgeons at Medeor Hospital not only carried out the complex surgery, excising the lesion, but also made sure they were able to release the spinal cord that was tethered abnormally and could have caused involuntary urine and bowel movements. Further explaining the case, Dr Sharath Kumari Maila, neurosurgeon from Medeor Hospital, said: “The baby suffered from Myelomeningocele, a rarest form of Spina Bifida.”
In this case, Dr Maila said, the spinal cord and nerve endings of the newborn were exposed and protruding out of the body. “Most of doctors, whom the family visited, raised concerns as the child was only four months old then. They cited the difficulty and risk associated with giving anaesthesia to the child. Doctors consulted earlier had decline to operate on the baby because they were worried about post-operation issues.”
Risk of rupture
Explaining the risk associated with the case, Dr Maila said: “The baby had a visible lesion in his spine that could have ruptured anytime and cause the Cerebro Spinal Fluid from the brain to leak. One of the other complications in this case was the manner in which the spinal cord was unnaturally tethered at a much lower level to the bone and it had to be released. This had to be done very carefully with continuous neurological monitoring to make sure the child had no deficits that could have resulted in loss of control in bowel movement and urine. The child also had a benign lipoma that was excised along with the lesion.”
The baby was brought to Medeor when he was four-and-a-half months old, while the surgery was conducted in November. The baby is now seven months old and in a completely stable condition. Dr Maila has assured that he can lead a completely normal life from now on.
Abbasi and his wife are thrilled as their baby has recovered very well in the last couple of months. “We are overjoyed that our child has a chance at leading a completely normal life. I am indebted to Dr Maila and his team. We were losing hope as many hospitals had turned us back. Dr Maila conducted the surgery so well that our baby is now doing very well. I am also thankful to RTA who supported me throughout this ordeal.
What is Spina Bifida?
Spina Bifida is a congenital condition that develops while the baby is still in the womb. It occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not form properly. It is a type of neural tube defect. The neural tube is the structure in a developing embryo that eventually develops into the baby’s brain, spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them. In this case, the neural tube failed to close properly, resulting in an open lesion along the spine.
Every year, about 1,427 babies are born with Spina Bifida, or one in every 2,758 births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In other words, 60 out of every 100,000 newborns have this condition worldwide. Apart from loss of control over urination and bowel movement, babies born with this disorder can also develop difficulties in walking. If treated appropriately, these children can lead a normal life, without any neurological dysfunction.