American Hospital Dubai Cardiac Team showcases three new surgical procedures for life threatening conditions previously considered untreatable in UAE

May 29, 2014 2:55 pm

The American Hospital Dubai’s Cardiac Team (one cardiologist, two interventional cardiologists and a cardiothoracic surgeon) presented a range of new heart procedures available in the UAE at a meeting hosted by the hospital’s ‘The Heart Center’ for more than 50 healthcare professionals in the UAE. These procedures offer new hope in treating very common health conditions – heart arrhythmia, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA), and resistent hypertension – which can be life threatening and are now treatable through advanced minimal access surgery. The American Hospital Dubai launched The Heart Center in 2004 to treat all types of adult cardiac conditions including interventional cardiology and surgery.

A new surgical treatment is now available at The Heart Center to treat heart arrhythmia, which occurs when the heart beats irregularly and cannot pump blood effectively, putting vital organs such as the brain and lungs at risk and making patients vulnerable to heart attack and strokes. Only a small number of heart surgeons are able to carry out the new surgical procedure. The new cardiac surgical procedure (called ‘thoracoscopic atrial fibrillation ablation) – in which heart tissue is burned using a catheter to leave scar tissue that creates new pathways for electrical impulses – restores the normal sequence of electrical impulses that trigger each heart beat and is undertaken using minimally invasive surgery techniques, lowering risk and speeding up recovery. Heart arrhythmia, which can affect children and adults, had always been considered untreatable until recently.

A new surgical treatment still under trial has been performed at the American Hospital Dubai, giving new hope to sufferers of uncontrolled high blood pressure. The first patient to undergo the procedure at the Hospital was a 56-year old male resident of the UAE. High blood pressure – or hypertension – is one of the most common health issues facing the global community and the UAE, with around 30 per cent of the country’s population affected. High blood pressure (BP) is associated with obesity and can lead to other potentially serious health issues, such as heart disease, kidney failure and stroke. For a significant number of patients – around 10 per cent of all hypertension suffers – the problem cannot be controlled even through the use of multiple medications. This condition is known as Resistant Hypertension (RHT) and represents a serious health risk. One of the possible causes of resistant hypertension is thought to be due to miscommunication between the kidney and the brain through the ‘sympathetic nerve’ of the kidney, which plays a central role in the body’s ability to control blood pressure. The new procedure – ‘Renal Nerve Ablation’ – (removing tissue) of the nerve improves the blood pressure control.

The new surgical treatment performed in Dubai by The Heart Center, where special training and equipment allowed them to treat the first patient with promising results, by applying a technique (endovascular repair) used in heart interventions to repair the body’s largest artery in the abdomen, inserting a tubular stent into the artery through pin hole surgery to stop it bursting. The condition is known as Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA), which generally has no symptoms unless it ruptures, which is often fatal.

The Cardiac Team at the American Hospital Dubai hosted a group of more than 50 members of the UAE’s healthcare community, including heart specialists, at the meeting which was held at the hospital’s auditorium and introduced by Acting CEO David Farrick and Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nayzak Raoof.

Speaking at the presentation, Dr Raoof, said, “The Heart Center is a regional center of excellence for cardiac care, providing American standards of care to patients in the UAE and the region. It is one of a small, select group of medical centers worldwide, and among the few private healthcare institution in the region, capable of undertaking advanced interventional and surgical procedures, such as minimally invasive cardiac surgery and beating heart bypass surgery, state of the art heart valve repair and advanced aortic arch procedures. We are seeing the benefits of our multidisciplinary approach to cardiac care with these innovative procedures, and just as important is the fact that we are meeting international standards by ensuring that patients undergo revascularization within 90 minutes, which is saving lives.”

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Jonathan Walsh
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