Sidra Lead Team of Experts Successfully Complete Complex Procedure in a Middle East First

Thursday, February 9, 2017 General News
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DOHA, Qatar, February 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

Remarkable series of surgeries over a two-year period saves young baby from life threatening OEIS


A multidisciplinary team made up of clinical experts from Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) have made medical history by successfully performing a series of hugely

complex surgeries for the first time in the Middle East. Over the past two years, the team have worked tirelessly to save the life of a baby boy through multiple procedures designed to correct birth defects resulting from OEIS Syndrome, a rare and life threatening condition which can prove fatal in 95 to 99 per cent of cases.

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The hugely experienced interdisciplinary medical team led by Sidra's Division Chief of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, Dr. Abdalla Zarroug, comprised of pediatric surgeons, pediatric urologists, pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatric neurosurgeons and pediatric orthopedic surgeons have worked closely together to conduct more than seven pain-staking and highly complex surgical procedures to save the life of the young patient, baby Mohamed, who was born to an Egyptian family living in Qatar in 2014.

During the most recent of these, an operation conducted in October 2016, which lasted more than 12 hours, the team led by Joao Luiz Pippi Salle, Sidra's Division Chief of Pediatric Urology, successfully conducted bladder exstrophy surgery to repair the baby's bladder, as well as ventral hernia repair, genital reconstruction and gastrostomy tube placement. This marked the latest of the more complex procedures needed to correct the specific set of malformations affecting the baby and which are caused by OEIS.

Mohamed's medical journey began in his mother's womb following an early diagnosis of possible OEIS Syndrome during a prenatal ultrasound conducted by Sidra's Division Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine Dr. Karim Kalache and Dr. Sawsan Al-Obaidly from HMC. The expert team of physicians from Sidra and HMC developed the necessary treatment plan to secure the best possible outcomes for baby Mohamed. Diseases of such complexity require that medical teams are able to draw on the expertise and experience of a full range medical professionals and institutions. In this case, the team of more than 30 clinicians worked in close harmony during the past twenty four months, each playing a major part in helping to save the patient's life. Their success provides an important blueprint for effective collaboration between medical experts and institutions in Qatar and elsewhere across the region.

"Modern medical care of complex pediatric diseases such as OEIS requires a multi-disciplinary approach of true experts coming together to create an individualized plan for each patient. Although each clinician has an important role or procedure to oversee, all medical decisions need to be coordinated to the patient's needs; it's the team that makes the difference nowadays and it's incredibly satisfying to see that, as a result of experts coming together in a patient-centered manner, baby Mohamed is now thriving," said Dr. Abdalla Zarroug.

The surgical team headed by Sidra's Dr. Abdalla Zarroug included HMC's Dr. Mansour Ali, Head of Pediatric Surgery at HMC, Sidra's Dr. Jason Howard, Division Chief of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. David Sigalet, Chair of the Department of Surgery, Dr. Khalid Al-Kharazi, Acting Division Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Sidra's Dr. Joao Luiz Pippi Salle. Allied health professionals and support staff, including dieticians also played a key role in saving baby Mohamed by keeping him healthy and strong, supporting his recovery from the lengthy surgeries.

"The first year was very hard. It was full of surgeries and hospitalizations. The doctors had to take a number of steps to close his bladder and position internal organs inside his body, bring together his hip bones, repair his reproductive organs and more. We had an additional complication to deal with in that he was not gaining enough weight to properly heal from the various surgeries that his little body had to endure. We're incredibly grateful to the whole team for everything they have done for our son," said baby Mohamed's mother Shaimaa.

"The success of highly complex surgeries like this depends on a broad range of experience and expertise, as well as a fully multi-disciplinary approach to patient care. This particular case required the skills and capabilities of a team of over 30 people from Sidra and HMC working in close collaboration with one another to secure the best possible outcomes for the patient. The results are a clear testament to the quality and caliber of the practitioners at Sidra and HMC and we're incredibly proud of this success. This case represents a real milestone for clinical practice in the Middle East," concluded Sidra's Chief Executive Officer Peter Morris.

Notes to Editors: 

About OEIS:

  • Omphalocele: abdominal organs appear on the outside of the body in the area of the umbilical cord. A number of abdominal organs may be protruding from the body (including intestine, liver and spleen) protruding outside the abdominal cavity.
  • Exstrophy of the bladder and rectum: the bladder is open and separated into two halves. The rectum and colon are similarly open and the segment of the rectum is placed between the bladder halves on the surface of the abdomen.
  • Imperforate anus: the anus has not been formed and the colon connects to the bladder.
  • Spinal defects: these defects may either be major or minor. Children born with cloacal exstrophy are often born with some degree of spina bifida.

About Sidra Medical and Research Center 

Sidra Medical and Research Center will be a groundbreaking hospital, research and education institution, focusing on the health and wellbeing of children and women regionally and globally.

Sidra represents the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser who serves as its Chairperson. The high-tech facility will not only provide world-class patient care but will also help build Qatar's scientific expertise and resources.

Sidra will be a fully digital facility, incorporating the most advanced information technology applications in all its functions. Designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli, Sidra features a main hospital building and a separate outpatient clinic. The main hospital will initially have 400 beds with infrastructure to enable expansion to 550 beds in a subsequent phase.

Sidra opened its Outpatient Clinic on 1 May 2016, including specialists in dermatology, pediatric general surgery consultation, obstetrics, radiology, pathology, pharmacy and laboratory facilities among others. The Sidra Outpatient Clinic offers outpatient services for women and children through a referral based system in partnership with other healthcare providers in Qatar.

Sidra is also part of a dynamic research and education environment in Qatar and through strong partnerships with leading institutions around the world, Sidra is creating an intellectual ecosystem to help advance scientific discovery through investment in medical research.

For more information please visit

For any media inquiries, please contact: Farhana Coelho T: +1-(974)-44042176 M: +1-(974)-74784648 E: The Communications Department Sidra Medical and Research Center


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SOURCE Sidra Medical and Research Center


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