Elderly Emirati woman with complete loss of appetite now enjoys food again

Dr. Eyad Mohammed Hassan

Nadia, an 88-year-old Emirati lady, loved to cook and serve meals to her family. But as she aged, her passion to cook not only took a backseat, it also took a toll on her appetite. With every passing day, her food intake became minimal and she suffered from staggering postprandial abdominal pain – a condition that refers to severe pain that occurs after eating. Though Nadia didn’t complain, her family noticed her worsening health. That’s when they approached University Hospital Sharjah to treat her condition. What followed next was a tale of robust recovery along with the ability to relish a meal.

“When Nadia visited us three months back, she complained of having a poor appetite and postprandial pain, sometime with a cold sweat. The symptoms would generally start 20 minutes after taking food and continue for 2- 3 hours. However, she had no appreciable past medical history, but had lost about 9 KG in the last three months,” said Dr Eyad Hassan, Specialist General and Cardiovascular Surgeon at University Hospital Sharjah.

“On examination, the laboratory findings showed no pathologic parameters. To investigate the problem further, we performed esophagogastroduodenoscopy and colposcopy, which also revealed normal findings. Finally, we decided to perform abdominal computed tomography and that is when we discovered that the old woman suffered from severe celiac artery stenosis,” added Dr Eyad.

Severe Celiac Artery Stenosis is a rare disorder characterised by chronic, recurrent abdominal pain related to diminished blood supply. It usually presents with symptoms of abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhoea and fatigue.

“Once the condition was determined, we suggested percutaneous trans luminal angioplasty of celiac axis, a type of surgery that could help the patient’s well-being. However, we wasted no time and successfully performed the surgery with 50 minutes. There were no complications and the patient was discharged in a day after the operation,” said Dr Eyad.

Doctors at UHS performed percutaneous revascularization of the celiac artery using a left brachial artery approach, with a 6Fr guiding catheter inserted into the celiac artery. The subtotal occlusion of the celiac artery was first confirmed with selective contrast medium injected into the celiac trunk. The occluded celiac axis was crossed with a 0.014-inch guide wire, and pre-dilated with a 3 × 20 mm balloon catheter. Subsequently, a 5 × 30 mm bare metal stent was implanted into the stenotic lesion from the guiding catheter by using a left brachial approach. Dual-antiplatelet therapy with aspirin (100 mg qd) and clopidogrel (75 mg qd) was prescribed after endovascular therapy.

Percutaneous revascularization of the celiac artery is done on old-age patients in medically advanced countries. UHS not only performed the surgery on a patient with a progressive age, but also ensured that the procedure delivered successful results.

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