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09 June 2023

Gohary's disease: Tummy pain in kids

By Staff

Emergency rooms across the UAE regularly receive young children as patients suffering from symptoms of severe abdominal pain or colic.

These are often linked to intussusception, one of the most common abdominal emergencies affecting children under the age of two.

This condition causes a part of the intestine to fold into another much like a collapsible telescope, causing a blockage in the intestine.

However, after observing young patients with similar symptoms over a period of five years, Prof. Dr. Amin El-Gohary, Consultant - Pediatric Surgery, Burjeel Abu Dhabi Hospital, discovered the growing incidence of a new phenomenon that is consistent with severe colic mimicking signs of intussusception.

Prof. Dr. Gohary, who published his findings in the British Medical Journal, is attributed with identifying this condition, now called Gohary’s disease.

Commenting on the symptoms of the disease, he said, “Children suffering from this condition present with sudden acute severe abdominal colic during which the child is continuously screaming for couple of minutes, with the pain ending suddenly. This pain is recurrent and does not respond to analgesics or pain killers. When doctors perform an ultrasound on these children, it would reveal an image identical to intussusception. Other laboratory and radiological tests are also misleading as they confirm the wrong diagnosis of intussusception which would lead to unnecessary surgery.

However, the real cause for such severe pain is linked to fecal matter blocking the extreme end of the small intestine and of the beginning of the large intestine.

Based on his findings, Prof. Dr. Gohary advises that in the instance of Gohary’s disease children should be treated with fleet enemas. Fleet enemas are laxatives that will help dislodge the stool that is causing the obstruction.

“Children undergoing such excruciating pain need to get the right diagnosis so as to receive the appropriate treatment to treat both the pain and the underlying cause. I have spent a long time studying the condition, its symptoms and the best treatment modalities,” he emphasized.

Gohary’s disease is a new discovery that has not been discussed before in medical journals. It has been named after the doctor who discovered it.

(Image via Shutterstock)