Abdullah, 14, could not have a regular surgery to repair the hole in his heart because he uses a cochlear implant. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A 14-year-old boy has had a bloodless surgery in Abu Dhabi to successfully repair the hole in his heart.

The young patient, Abdullah, could not have a regular surgery with an electrical cautery because he uses a cochlear implant. This prompted doctors at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) to find safe instruments to enable the heart procedure, said Dr Benedict Rajkumar, paediatric cardiac surgeon at SKMC.

“This young boy seemed normal until a couple of months ago. Then he was incidentally diagnosed with a hole in the heart,” Dr Rajkumar said.

Abdullah had however been born hard of hearing, and his cochlear implants meant that electrocauterisation, which is used to open the chest, and reduce or stop bleeding during surgery, could cause damage to cochlear tissue or the implant due to the induced currents the instrument uses.

Atypical instruments

“He was born hard of hearing and needed a cochlear implant to help him learn to listen and speak. This meant we could not use a regular electrical cautery to open the chest. We needed to find a way to do it safely,” Dr Rajkumar said.

Following a team meeting, the medical and surgical team at the hospital were able to find a set of instruments from the general surgical and laporoscopy teams to enable a bloodless surgery.

Abdullah then recovered quickly from the surgery. Dr Rajkumar said he was discharged within a week.

“These challenges in general surgery can be overcome if you have a [good medical team],” Dr Rajkumar said.

“I am grateful to God that Abdullah’s surgery was successful. Our gratitude goes out to the medical team at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC),” Abdullah’s father said.