Dubai: A team of surgeons at Rashid Hospital successfully excised a brain-tumour in a 90 -minute procedure even as the the patient lay ‘awake’. The surgery was conducted in the first week of December and the patient, who fully recovered, was discharged within two weeks.
The patient was administered mild local anaesthesia to ensure his speech centre remained intact.
Dr Abdulla Qasim, consultant and head of neurosurgery at Rashid Hospital, told Gulf News: “Walid Khamis Faraz, a Yemeni expatriate, was having pain in the oral mouth cavity along with a dull headache. He was not responding to medications. An MRI scan revealed that he had a 4-cm size tumour in the area of the brain that was responsible for his speech. We needed to know we were not damaging his speech centre and therefore, the surgery was conducted with local anaesthesia. We navigated through the delicate parts of his brain even as he was speaking to us and made sure we did not damage any part as we removed the tumour. This kind of surgery is called awake brain surgery.”
Dr Qasim said Rashid Hospital started using a special navigation system for spinal and neurosurgeries since the beginning of 2019. “We have registered an increased rate of success and efficiency. Nearly 97 per cent of our cases were successful and the time taken to reach the tumour and excise has also considerably reduced. So far, more than 100 operations have been performed with this technology,” he said.
Faraz, who is a father of five, has recovered completely. “I didn’t suffer from too many symptoms like sharp pain or swelling. I just felt constant pain in my mouth one day and a dull headache which refused to go away with medications. So I consulted the doctors at Rashid Hospital. I was surprised when they told me that I had a brain tumour. The doctors told me that surgery was necessary because the tumour could eventually affect my eyesight and my right hand.
“I’m very thankful to Rashid Hospital and Dr Abdullah Qasim for the excellent care I received,” said Faraz.
Dr Qasim advised residents not to ignore headaches. “I have had infant and teen patients, besides adults. A brain tumour can appear at any age. If you have a constant headache that does not respond to pain medication, it is important to consult a hospital and get the correct diagnosis, before it is too late,” advised Dr Qasim.