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Baby who underwent a rare surgery with the hospital team. Doctors say he is recovery well. Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: A minimally invasive procedure was performed successfully in the capital to save the life of a day-old infant.

The baby boy, born at 39 weeks gestation at the Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital in the capital, weighed 2.39 kilograms at birth, and was diagnosed with a rare condition within three hours, the hospital announced in a statement on Sunday.

One in every 4,000 babies

The condition, which affects one in every 4,000 newborns, found that the upper part of the boy’s oesophagus was disconnected from the lower part, which joins the stomach. As a result, milk ingested by the infant would not have reached the stomach, and would instead have gone to the lungs, resulting in severe inflammation.

In addition, there was an abnormally small tube connecting the lower part of the oesophagus to the wind pipe, which caused air to flow into the oesophagus and digestive acids to flow into the lungs. Left untreated, this could lead to choking and pneumonia.

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A multidisciplinary team got to work, mapping out each step of the surgical plan

“Through three keyhole incisions less than half centimeter each, an operative time of an hour and 45 minutes, we were able to successfully repair the complicated birth defects without having to resort to traditional open surgery,” said Dr. Adel Al Junaibi, consultant peadiatric surgeon at the hospital.

The surgery was performed when the baby was just 38 hours old.

Rare life-threatening condition

“This was a rare life-threatening condition that required surgical intervention. We are proud and delighted to have been able to put all our expertise into managing such a complicated case through a minimally invasive technique. This allowed for a faster recovery period, reduced chance for infection, faster healing and a shorter hospital stay,” the doctor said.

The baby was discharged from the hospital 15 days post-surgery in good health, and is now able to breathe and feed normally, the statement said.