NAT 191104 Shahma-1572858673467
Shahma with her father Mr. Kareem (right) and Dr. Yasser (left) Image Credit:

Dubai: A 15-year old girl who underwent an open heart surgery at a Sharjah hospital recently has been able to reclaim a good quality life after the procedure.

Shahma Kareem, was borught to Zulekha Hosptial, Sharjah complaining of chest pain and breathlessness that had exacerbated in the last one year.

Dr Yassser Mohammad Meniassy, consultant adult and paediatric heart surgeon at Zulekha Hosptial, diagnosed the case as a congenital heart condition which had not been detected until then and advised surgery right away.

Explaining her condition Dr Menaissy said: “An atrial septal defect or ventricular septal defect causes too much blood to pass into the lungs causing elevation in the pulmonary artery pressure and repeated chest infections.

"More complex cases lead to de-oxygenation of the blood with bluish discoloration of the lips and nails, leading to complications if left unattended.

"Life expectancy depends on the type of lesion in the heart. Severe cases like transposition of great arteries where the positions of the pulmonary artery and the aorta are switched are fatal if untreated.

"Only 10 per cent of those patients reach the age of one while patients undergoing treatment for an atrial septal defect may live up to 50 or 60 years of age.”

Dr Menaissy conducted a sucessful three-hour surgery to close the defect.

"The initial Echocardiography (ECG) had revealed that Kareem had a hole in her heart which could not be closed by a device through an interventional procedure due to absence of a proper edge around the defect, thus an open heart cardiac surgery was performed on her.

Attributing the congenital conditon to genetics, Dr Menaissy said, “There could be a hereditary factor but it’s not always that a parent with a congenital heart problem has a child affected as well. We are glad with the positive outcome of the surgery that will help the patient resume 100 per cent of her normal life.”

The patient resumed school and regular activities within two weeks of the surgery. Dr Menaissy said that usually post-surgery, patients recover very well and can continue to lead their normal life.

Shahma’s father, Kareem said, “I am very thankful to Dr Yasser and the team at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah for giving my daughter the best treatment and care. She is now performing her day-to-day activities with a renewed energy.”