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Pioneering heart surgery saves life of tiny Emirati baby.

Summary: Baby Omar is the first child in UAE to receive a mitral valve transplant, says doctor

Omar, a premature baby, weighed just 1kg at birth. His mitral and aortic valves were narrow and his aorta was Image Credit: by Suchitra Bajpai ChaudharySenior Reporter

Dubai: A paediatric surgeon from the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) of London, saved the life of pre-term Emirati baby by conducting a pioneering surgery for a heart valve replacement that has saved his life.

Dr Robert Yates consultant paediatric surgeon and specialist in fetal cardiology from Gosh narrated the turn on events on the sidelines of Arab Health 2018. "Baby Omar was the first child in UAE to receive a mitral valve transplant and this life saving surgery in such a tiny child weighing less than 1.5kg was carried out for the first time," said Dr Yates.

Baby Omar, son of Dubai Police officer, Major Ahmed Mohsin Al Shaikh, was born at Latifa Hospital on June 5, 2016, at 30 weeks.

Apart from all the complex health issues faced by a premature baby, the doctors detected that he had many heart complications.

Baby Omar's mitral and aortic valves were too narrow and his aorta was too small. "We had to sew on the bovine jugular vein on to a stent and fold it to 14mm to fit into the tiny baby's heart, excising a part of his valve and using one part to sew this new one on. This surgery carried out on few other children has had a good prognosis and in case of this baby has saved his life," said Dr Robert Yates.

Dr Yates added: "His mitral and aortic valves were too narrow and his aorta was too small. But the baby just weighed 1kg at birth and the doctors at Shaikh Khalifa Hospital were able to do the first surgery of enlarging his aorta within two-and-a-half months of his birth after which he was transferred to GOSH."

Baby Omar underwent two more surgeries at GOSH.

The first was to enlarge and repair both his mitral an aortic valves.

But very soon the growing baby required an even bigger mitral valve replacement.

Dr Yates adapted a technique using bovine jugular vein which he had pioneered for replacing pulmonary valves to adapt it in case of this baby and use to it recreate a mitral valve.

"We had to sew on the bovine jugular vein on to a stent and fold it to 14mm to fit into the tiny baby's heart, excising a part of his valve and using one part to sew this new one on. This surgery carried out on few other children has had a good prognosis and in case of this baby has saved his life," said Dr Yates.

The bespectacled baby, all of 19 months, cuddled and cooed happily in his mother Glady's Zara's lap as she told Gulf News of the miracle that saved her baby's life: "Omar was my third pregnancy but the first baby to survive. When he was born pre-term and with so many heart defects, my husband and I were distraught and now we are overjoyed to see him doing so well after the surgeries."

Dr Yates added that the baby would require another surgery within six months to enlarge the current valve and will continue to require subsequent surgeries until he gains his adult size and can be fitted with a mechanical mitral valve.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jan 29, 2018
Words:589
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