Sharjah hospital removes lethal tumour from skull

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A videograb shows doctors conducting the surgery.

The ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgery team at Al Qassimi Hospital – an affiliate of Emirates Health Services (EHS) – successfully performed a rare, complex, and precise surgery to remove a tumour from the skull base of a forty-year-old patient – the first such procedure to be performed in the UAE.

The tumour had caused complete loss of hearing in the left ear, as well as total paralysis of the seventh cranial nerve (also known as the facial nerve) on the same side.

The landmark surgery was conducted in collaboration with Dr Hassan Diab, Head of Otology Department at the National Medical Research Centre for Otorhinolaryngology in Moscow, Russia. Dr Diab is part of the Visiting Doctors Programme, implemented by EHS to promote the exchange of experiences with doctors in various specialties.

The surgical team successfully removed the tumour, keeping the facial nerve and cerebral arteries intact, and the patient has shown promising signs of recovery in the post-operative phase. He is currently undergoing facial nerve rehabilitation treatment, which will continue until the recovery phase is completed.

Dr Issam Howayer Al Zarouni, Director of the Hospitals Administration Department at EHS, asserted that Emirates Health Services is committed to implementing the latest advanced technology across various medical fields and specialties, in an effort to equip its health facilities around the UAE with innovative smart medical services, as well as to supply hospitals and healthcare centres with highly qualified and skilled medical and nursing professionals.

“The medical achievements we have made reflect our efforts and strategies, which were designed to build and empower our human capital,” he added. “This set the stage for the series of accomplishments we have made, including rare and sophisticated surgeries, which we carried out using the latest AI-powered medical technologies and devices. We also have the teams of highly accomplished doctors to thank; their efforts help advance the UAE’s reputation in the healthcare sector and its position on the global healthcare map.”

For her part, Dr Iman Al-Hawai, Head of the Ear, Nose, and Throat Department at Al Qassimi Hospital, said that the surgical dissection of the tumour revealed that it had reached the base of the skull and caused erosion of the bones lined with the meningeal membranes of the brain. It had also reached the internal carotid artery in the brain and completely enveloped the facial nerve, she explained.

“The unlimited support Emirates Health Services offers us at Al Qassimi Hospital is what allows us to treat such cases, now and in the future,” Dr Al Hawai added, noting EHS’ specialised programmes and the role they play in training highly qualified medical staff and bringing in rare and professional expertise to serve patients.

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