The complex surgery being conducted on the 40-year-old patient at Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A complex surgery has been performed to remove a tumour from the skull base of a patient at Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah.

A team from the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) department of the hospital – an affiliate of Emirates Health Services (EHS) – successfully performed the surgery, said the first procedure of its kind to be performed in the UAE.

The tumour had caused complete loss of hearing in the 40-year-old’s left ear, as well as total paralysis of the seventh cranial nerve (also known as the facial nerve) on the same side.

The Al Qassimi Hospital team that conducted the complex surgery. Image Credit: Supplied

Pioneering surgery

The landmark surgery was conducted in collaboration with Dr Hassan Diab, Hassan Diab, Head of Otology Department at the National Medical Research Centre for Otorhinolaryngology in Moscow, Russia. Dr Diab is part of the Visiting Doctors Programme, implemented by EHS to promote the exchange of experiences with doctors in various specialities.

The surgical team successfully removed the tumour, keeping the facial nerve and cerebral arteries intact, and the patient has shown promising signs of recovery in the post-operative phase. He is currently undergoing facial nerve rehabilitation treatment, which will continue until the recovery phase is completed.

Hub for health tech

Elaborating on the surgery, Dr Issam Howayer Al Zarouni, Director of the Hospitals Administration Department at EHS, said: “The medical achievements we have made reflect our efforts and strategies, which were designed to build and empower our human capital. This set the stage for the series of accomplishments we have made, including rare and sophisticated surgeries, which we carried out using the latest Artificial Intelligence-powered medical technologies and devices. We also have the teams of highly accomplished doctors to thank; their efforts help advance the UAE’s reputation in the healthcare sector and its position on the global healthcare map.”

Tumour had eroded bones

Dr Iman Al-Hawai, Head of ENT Department at Al Qassimi Hospital, said the surgical dissection of the tumour revealed that it had reached the base of the skull and caused erosion of the bones lined with the meningeal membranes of the brain. It had also reached the internal carotid artery in the brain and completely enveloped the facial nerve, she added.

“The unlimited support that [EHS] offers us at Al Qassimi Hospital is what allows us to treat such cases, now and in the future,” Dr Al Hawai said.

Visiting Doctors programme

The surgery was conducted under EHS’ Visiting Doctors Programme, an initiative aimed at improving health services, raising the efficiency of staff working in various medical specialities, and keeping up with global practices in patient care and the latest innovations.