Jana and her mother with treating surgeon Dr. Yasser Menaissy
Sharjah, UAE, 17 March 2020: Five year old Jana Akawi, was brought to Zulekha Hospital Sharjah with complaints of recurrent chest infections increasing up to 6-7 times a year. Following an echocardiogram, she was found to have a large Atrial Septal Defect with moderately severe pulmonary hypertension which demanded immediate surgical closure to prevent further progression which could have been life-threatening.
An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart. In children with a large ASD, the main risk is to the blood vessels in the lungs because more blood than normal is being pumped there. Over time, this may cause permanent damage to the lung blood vessels.
Dr. Yasser Menaissy, Professor and Consultant Cardiac Surgeon successfully performed a minimally invasive surgery for the first time at Zulekha hospital. To close her congenital heart defect, a small incision was made on the right side of the chest instead of the standard midline incision. These types of surgeries usually take longer than the standard ones due to technical challenges in performing surgery through small incisions.
“The main advantage of minimally invasive surgery over traditional open heart surgery is the better cosmetic effect as the skin incision scar on the right side will be invisible as the child grows older. Secondly, there is no pain after the surgery because the sternal bone is not opened. Further, the patient has a speedy recovery and shorter hospital stay.” added Dr. Yasser.
Jana was discharged from the hospital three days after the surgery.
Jana's mother Mrs. Nada said, “We are very thankful to Dr. Yasser and the entire team of doctors and nurses for taking good care of Jana. She has recovered well and is doing her regular activities and enjoying her time playing.”