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The Cardiothoracic Surgery team at Dubai Hospital has performed a rare open-heart surgery using a minimally invasive technique to remove a benign tumour measuring about 3cm, which was attached to the aortic valve in a 32-year-old patient. 

Dr Obaid Al Jassim, Head of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department at Dubai Hospital, says internationally, incidences of fibroelastoma aortic valve are extremely rare with a percentage of 0.0017-0.33 per cent. 

He added that this is the first case in Dubai Hospital and first case done by a minimally invasive technique at the hospital.

Urgent care

The patient was admitted to Rashid Hospital with complaints of severe chest pain and had suffered a heart attack.

“He underwent an urgent coronary angiogram, which showed a mobile mass protruding from one of the aortic valve cusps and intermittently blocking blood flow to the right side of the heart,” says Dr Al Jassim. 

Dr Bassil Al Zamkan, Senior Consultant in Cardiovascular and Cardiothoracic surgery at Dubai Hospital, adds that such a case is extremely dangerous for the patient because this tumour can cause embolisation and stroke or it can completely block the blood flow and cause a fatal heart attack. The patient was accepted to Dubai Hospital for Emergency Cardiac Surgery. 

In addition to Dr Al Zamkan and Al Jassim, the Cardiothoracic Surgery team at Dubai Hospital included Dr Fayaz Mohammed Khazi, Consultant Cardiothoracic Anaesthetist and his team. 

“Using minimally invasive techniques and avoiding the routine cutting of the breastbone, a small incision was made on the upper chest, through which the surgery was successfully performed,” says Dr Al Zamkan. “This kind of tumour and procedure for its removal are very rare and high-risk as it could entail major complications such as heart block, damage to the valve and the heart, which could need replacement of the total valve and the insertion of a permanent pacemaker.” 

The incidence of aortic dissection are 3 per 100,000 people. Globally, around 33 per cent of patients die within the first 24 hours, and 50 per cent die within 48 hours. “We have done 22 cases and our mortality is below 20 per cent,” explains Dr Al Zamkan. 

This highly demanding surgery was performed by the Cardiothoracic Surgery team at Dubai Hospital and they credited the success to teamwork, Dubai Hospital and DHA administration.

Dr Jassim says that the tumour was removed completely from the heart without causing any damage or need to change the valve and the patient recovered well and was discharged after five days.