Dubai Health Authority endometriosis 2
The Polish couple with the team at Latifa Hospital for Women and Children after their successful treatment Image Credit: Supplied

Imagine spending every single day of your life for the last several years in such excruciating pain that even painkillers cannot numb and despite undergoing a surgery, there is still no relief.

W. S., a 38-year old woman from Poland spent several years suffering from chronic pelvic pain, bowel adhesions and infertility due to severe endometriosis.

Chronic endometriosis is an extremely painful condition in which tissue that normally lines the insides of a women’s uterus - the endometrium - grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves women’s ovaries, Fallopian tubes and the tissue lining their pelvises.

Dubai Health Authority endometriosis 1
Prof. Arnaud Wattiez explains the minimally invasive gynaecology surgery procedure

Endometriosis can affect women of any age and the condition can have a significant impact on a patient’s life as it directly affects day-to-day living, it can cause infertility and lead to depression if led unaddressed.

W. S. had previously undergone a laparotomy surgery in her home country to try and address her severe endometriosis but the procedure was unsuccessful and she continued to live in pain.

After extensively researching global centres to conduct the procedure, she selected the Endometriosis Centre of Excellence at Latifa Hospital for Women and Children and decided to fly from Poland to Dubai to seek treatment.

More than 500 annual procedures

The Hospital’s Endometriosis Centre of Excellence was launched in 2012 and more than 500 procedures have been carried out every year using minimally invasive laparoscopic approach.

The full-fledged centre has a team of eight doctors as well a multidisciplinary team that includes a surgical team, radiologists and physiotherapists.

Prof. Arnaud Wattiez is Head of the Gynaecology Department at Latifa Hospital for Women and Children. He is also the Director for Advanced Courses in Gynaecological Endoscopy at IRCAD EITS in Strasbourg, France. In addition, Prof. Wattiez is the Chairman of the European Academy of Gynaecological Surgery, the Founder and Director of the Winners Education Programme and the founder of MIS Academy. He is recognised as a pioneer of laparoscopy in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology.

Dr Muna Tahlak, consultant gynaecologist and CEO of Latifa Hospital for Women and Children, said, “Prof. Wattiez has been a mentor and instructor to surgeons in minimally invasive gynaecological surgery (MIGS) all over the world. His work is at the forefront of technical advances in endoscopic gynaecological surgery.

“MIGS is an area of expertise at the hospital and we feel extremely proud that today Latifa Hospital has become a referral centre for MIGS in the region and abroad.”

Dr Tahlak added that presently almost 80 to 90 per cent of all gynaecology surgeries at Latifa Hospital are done through minimally invasive methods, which ensure fewer complications and faster recovery for patients.

Dr Wattiez said the surgery was complicated but thanks to the laparoscopic techniques, which increase precision, it was completed successfully. “Minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques in gynaecology have multiple benefits. It leads to fewer chances of complications, it is less invasive, less painful and leads to faster recovery. Usually the patient can be discharged after one to two days of the procedure. The patient can be mobilised after the procedure so there are several benefits to adopting minimally invasive obstetrics and gynaecological procedures.”

Dr Shaima Al Suwaidi, Gynaecologist at Latifa Hospital and specialist in minimally invasive gynaecology surgery (MIGS), said, “Even in advanced cases, we have experience to perform the procedures minimally invasively. In this case, for instance, we performed laparoscopy and not a laparotomy, which is an invasive procedure in comparison. In fact the patient had previously unsuccessfully undergone a laparotomy in her home country, therefore she was at high-risk of getting organ injuries or an infection if the procedure would not have been performed using a minimally invasive method.

Laparoscopic treatment

“We removed all the pelvic and bowel adhesions laparoscopically. The procedure was a success, the patient is no longer in pain and has a much higher change of getting pregnant now than she did before the procedure. We also carried out a resection of the endometriosis lesions in the pelvis and had bowel resection in areas that were affected by endometriosis.”

Dr Al Suwaidi said post the procedure, the patient stayed in the country for a few days and returned back to Dubai last month for a follow-up.

W. S said. “The quality of life I lead now has dramatically improved. Living in pain takes both a physical and mental toll on your health. I am just so relieved and every day I wake up feeling happy.”