11-hour-surgery helps paralytic patient to walks again

Rashid Hospital doctors have succeeded in saving the life of a 27-year-old patient who became paralysed due to a tumour located between the bottom of his neck and chest.

Doctors said the patient is now stable and undergoing physiotherapy. He has also been moved to the oncology department for further treatment.

The highly complicated surgery was done by a neurosurgical team led by Dr Najmedden Attabib, Consultant Neurosurgery and Spine Surgery at Rashid Hospital, who said the young man came to the hospital with his hands and legs paralysed.

"After undergoing a series of medical tests, we found that he has a big tumour in the cervicothoracic junction. The tumour, which was between the very bottom of his neck and chest, was putting pressure on his spinal cord and caused him to become paralysed in the hands and feet," said Dr Attabib.

Dr Attabib said that a surgery was needed to remove the tumour and relieve the spinal cord from the pressure as it was not only causing paralysis, but also affecting the voice cords could have been life threatening to the patient.

"Before the surgery, Interventional radiologist, Dr Ayman Al Sibai, conducted an endovascular embolisation procedure, which aimed to stop the blood from going to the tumour during the surgery. This made a huge difference as the patient only bled less than a litre, making the surgery shorter. Usually blood from such surgeries can reach up to 2-3 litres."

After the embolisation procedure, Dr Attabib and his team conducted an 11-hour-surgery.

"In the first stage, we removed the vertebra with the tumour and replaced it with an anterior inter-body cages. They are titanium cylinders that are placed in the disc space to allow the spine to be fused and allows for the bone graft," he explained.

In the second stage, the doctors removed the remaining tumour from the back.

"This relieved the pressure from the spinal cord and, within two days, the patient was able to move his hands and legs. He was able to walk again."

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