Abu Dhabi: In an eight-hour operation, surgeons were able to successfully remove a brain tumor the size of a billiard ball from a 34-year-old man – ending his 10-year search for a cure to his headaches and intermittent seizures.
UAE resident Mohanad Emaara began experiencing episodes of headache, chills, dizziness, blurred vision, weakness in his arms and even the loss of his speech in his mid-twenties. Over the years, the episodes he suffered continued to grow worse, lasting longer and longer.
“For one week a month, I would have headaches five or six times a day. I wouldn’t be able to see, speak or hear anything for a few seconds or even minutes. It made my life very difficult. The headaches meant I didn’t want to be around my wife or children and I was even afraid to use my car because I was worried my sight or strength in my arms would go while driving,” explained Mohanad.
After almost ten years of searching for a diagnosis, Mohanad booked an MRI which revealed he was suffering from a brain tumor the size of a billiard ball in the left side of his skull, which compressed the brain.
Dr Mohammad Samy Elhammady, a neurosurgeon at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, said: “Mohanad’s tumor was one of the largest I’ve seen in Abu Dhabi. It had been growing for so long that it had developed a better blood supply than the rest of the brain. It had caused significant swelling that had pushed the brain almost a centimeter off center. Left untreated it would have kept growing and Mohanad’s symptoms would have become significantly worse.”
The location of the tumor, at the base of the skull, severely pushed into healthy brain and made it difficult to perform surgery to remove it, particularly as it had developed its own blood supply.
To ensure that the tumor could be removed without damaging any of his healthy tissue, doctors used a technique called neuronavigation, which provided detailed 3D scans of the brain that helped guide them through surgery.
Following the surgery, Mohanad recovered well and has returned home to his family and career.
“I feel like a new person. I really feel like I can do anything now that I don’t need to worry about losing my sight or my strength. Thanks to the staff at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, I can be there for my family and look forward to the future,” he said.