Dr Mohammad Ahmad Helmy (left) with the patient Image Credit: Zulekha hospital

Dubai: A UAE resident suffering from a life-threatening vascular condition was successfully treated at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah after he was admitted with severe chest pain.

The 53-year-old, who was admitted with a bicuspid aortic valve, suffered from Acute Aortic Dissection Type A (AADA). This condition affects three in every 100,000 patients and entails a 50 per cent mortality rate before the patient even reaches a hospital.

AADA often happens in patients with a weakened and enlarged aorta. Around 20 per cent of people suffering from thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection have a genetic predisposition to it.

The patient developed severe chest pain and was immediately taken for further investigations. A Multislice CT angiography was done to confirm the patient’s diagnoses after which, he was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) where he was operated on.

Dr Mohammad Ahmad Helmy, consultant cardiac surgeon at the hospital, along with a team of surgeons, used a heart-lung machine to circulate and control the blood flow during the procedure.

The circulation was intentionally suspended during the repair of the proximal part of the Aortic Dissection to maintain a body temperature of 22 to 24 degrees.

This helps reduce the oxygen needed and the metabolic rate, ensuring that the body is protected during the total circulatory arrest. The replacement of the dissected ascending aorta with a Dacron graft was done in 20 minutes to avoid brain injury during the procedure.

“Prompt diagnosis was the need of the hour as time was scarce. There is a high possibility of several complications with such cases which include bleeding, re-exploration, neurological disorders, renal failures and prolonged ICU stay,” said Dr Helmy.

He confirmed that after a successful procedure, the patient was discharged after an eight-day stay in the hospital and has made a full recovery.

The symptoms for the Acute aortic dissection range from pain related to the acute event and collapse due to aortic rupture or pericardial tamponade (this happens when fluid in the pericardium — the sac around the heart — builds up and results in compression of the heart). It can also be caused after manifestations of organ or limb ischemia, in which the tear begins in the ascending aorta and progresses throughout the vessel, often extending as far as the arteries in the leg. The mortality rate in the first three days is 60 per cent and is calculated on an hourly basis with an incidence of one per cent increase in chance of death every hour.