Emirati man who lost 20kg saved with rare surgery

The patient was unable to ingest food because of an obstructive mass in his small intestine

Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary, Senior Reporter
12:51 January 9, 2018
Patient Abdullah Kamel
Dr Omar Marzouqi

Dubai: In what is a relatively uncommon practice, Rashid Hospital surgeons excised an obstructive mass from the small intestine of a 30-year-old Emirati patient through a minimal invasive procedure.

Usually in obstructions to the intestine, surgeons prefer to conduct open surgeries but in this case the patient had lost nearly 20kg in weight as he was unable to ingest food, and open surgery had risks. So doctors elected to carry out a laparoscopic surgery.

Dr Omal Marzouqi, general surgeon at the hospital who specialises in minimally invasive surgery, told Gulf News that the procedure lasting three hours was used to help Emirati patient Abdullah Kamel who was suffering from Crohn’s disease.

Dr Marzouqi said: “Crohn’s disease involves the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract beginning from the oesophagus to the rectum. The inflammation can happen in any part throughout and the triggers are relatively unknown, some of the causes are attributed to genetic disposition, immune system and microbes in an individual.”

Dr Marzouqi said in most cases surgery was not an option and patients who went through relapse and remission of their symptoms intermittently and are treated with cortisones, immuno-modulators etc.

“However, medication is too harsh and many young patients are not compliant with their regular medication. In the case of Abdullah Kamel, he had severe internal fistulas that were causing obstruction in the last section of his small bowel and large bowel.”

Dr Marzouqi decided to operate using a laparoscope to facilitate quick recovery and give relief to the patient who was in great pain and had lost 20kg in weight. “Colon resections carried out by opening the abdomen are common. But in this case, Kamel had lost a lot of weight and there were risks. So we decided the best option was using a laparoscope. We removed a large hard mass from the bowel that immediately removed the obstruction,” he said

The patient was operated on December 18, but he was put on Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) two weeks before the surgery to ensure he was given enough nutrition. TPN is a concentrated formula given intravenously, bypassing the GI tract and being absorbed in the blood stream. It is usually given to premature babies unable to ingest food. In this case it was given to the patient who had swelling in his GI tract and obstruction. The nutrition was directly absorbed into the blood stream. The patient was discharged in three days and has been recovering well since.

Kamel told Gulf News he was happy to have been relieved of pain. “I am still recovering and have resumed to have balanced food. I am feeling fine now and hope to put on weight as soon as I recover.”