Abu Dhabi: An Abu Dhabi hospital has successfully treated an Emirati woman who had developed ‘food fear’ as a result of a painful abdominal condition.
The patient was diagnosed with mesenteric angina, which occurs when blocked or narrowed arteries restrict blood flow to the small intestines. The condition left her with severe abdominal pain, nausea and fever, including pain from simply smelling food because she did not have sufficient blood supply to the gut.
Having lost significant amounts of weight, the patient had approached Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC). Dr Mohamed Baguneid, consultant and chair of the vascular surgery at the hospital, conducted the procedure to unblock the vessels along with Dr Shahbazali Patil and Dr Ravi Gadahadh, radiology professionals.
“Mesenteric angina is like angina but for the gut, and in this patient’s case, it was critical. Within a week, she would have come with a dead gut. Unfortunately, many people suffer from the same condition, but they are diagnosed late, as it can be tricky to identify what is causing the pain at first, and they are, therefore, malnourished. Many people seek treatment at later stages and present with dead gut tissue because they didn’t get the right treatment earlier. Gangrene of the gut is associated with a high mortality rate of 50 per cent,” Dr Baguneid said.
A multidisciplinary team consisting of a dietitian, anaesthetist, vascular surgeon, and vascular interventional radiologist was brought on board to help with the treatment. Prior to the surgery, specialised scans and ultrasounds were conducted to look at the gut arteries, which is a complex process.
The high-risk procedure took around three hours, where they deployed a stent into one of the patient’s bowel arteries through her arm artery.
“The patient probably had one of the most calcified or blocked arteries I have ever seen. We performed an open surgery and stenting at the same time, thanks to the sterile environment of our state-of-the-art hybrid theatre suite … The only cut the patient has from the surgery is on her elbow. Had it not been for the state of-the-art hybrid theatre suite we have here at SSMC, we would have had to do the surgery in the radiology suite, which is non-sterile, increasing the risk of infection of the open wound in the arm. The patient is now doing very well and on the road to recovery,” Dr Baguneid said.
Overcoming food fear
The patient was discharged around two days after the procedure. The dietitian is now helping her overcome her food fear, and assisting in managing her diet after the operation.
“As one of the UAE’s largest hospitals for serious and complex care, SSMC, in partnership with Mayo Clinic, is bringing a more comprehensive form of integrated and holistic patient care to Abu Dhabi. By successfully treating a wide spectrum of complex cases, as in this case, we are setting new benchmarks in the region, thanks to our world-class medical talent that brings extensive and diverse experience, training and education to the table. We are committed to delivering trusted quality and service excellence,” said Dr Matthew Gettman, chief medical officer at SSMC.
“We will continue to transform the delivery of care in the region, further establishing SSMC as a regional destination medical centre and upholding Abu Dhabi’s position on the global health care map,” he added.