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22 May 2024

Zulekha Hospital performs maiden advanced thyroid surgery

By Wam

An advanced minimally invasive surgical technique was attempted for the very first time in the UAE, at the Zulekha Hospital, to remove a thyroid of a 31-year-old female patient.

The Transoral Endoscopic Thyroidectomy, TOET, is one of the least invasive medical procedures and was introduced a couple years ago to remove the thyroid without causing any scarring to the neck. Scarring from thyroid procedures had previously been a big problem for patients all over the world.

Dr. Fadi Alnehlaoui, Specialist Surgical Oncologist said, "This kind of surgery needs specific caution, experience, infrastructure, anaesthesia, appropriate equipment and preparation from the team. We are pleased to be the first team in the UAE to perform this procedure."

Reports show that around five per cent of the population in the UAE suffer from thyroid problems. With this in mind, it is important to bring the latest minimally invasive techniques to the UAE to innovate, reduce scarring and traumatic surgical side effects. It also intends to assist the patient in recovery post-operation with fewer instances of pain and better cosmetic results in general.

The patient, Janet Atawe, had thyroid nodules of about 2 centimetres and the investigation before the surgery showed that the cells were, in fact, follicular tumours and it was necessary for the thyroid to be removed. The procedure took three hours and was completed through the mouth.

"I would like to thank Zulekha Hospital for the excellent service and for taking such good care of me. I was very anxious to undergo the procedure at the beginning but after reassurance from the medical team, I felt confident in their capable hands. I am now much better as my throat healed very quickly," Janet said.

Dr. Fadi Alnehlaoui, Specialist Surgical Oncologist added, "We are one of the few facilities in the UAE able to handle oncology cases - we have all of the equipment for this procedure which includes the laparoscopic and endoscopic sets, the machines capable of recognising the nerve intraoperative, intraoperative specimen frozen analysis, along with other innovative machines. We are proud to have the infrastructure and an expert team keen to gather and successfully carry out the most innovative operations."

The patient’s recovery took about a week before Janet was able to return to normal life.