Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 6, 2021: Doctors at Rashid Hospital transplanted a small device (roughly the size of a one-dirham coin) under the skin of the chest of a 14-year old Emirati girl who was suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy seizers.
Since the successful procedure, H.A. has been able to breathe a sigh of relief as she now prepares herself for programming the device and leading a life with minimum seizures that are less severe and less frequent in nature, thus greatly improving the quality of her life and giving her a brighter future.
Dr. Abdulla Qassim, Consultant and Head of Neurosurgery at Rashid Hospital said, “The mechanism is so sophisticated that the patient does not realise there is an implant in the body. After a thorough evaluation, we concluded that the patient was the right candidate for this type of implant. We implanted the Vagal Nerve Stimulator ( VNS) device under the skin in the chest. VNS is sometimes referred to as a 'pacemaker for the brain” as it sends regular and mild impulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve, which helps prevent epileptic seizures.”
Dr. Muhammad Al Kaylani, Consultant Neurologist and Epileptologist at Rashid Hospital said, “About one-third of people with epilepsy don't fully respond to anti-seizure drugs. This method of treatment is primarily used to treat focal or partial seizures that do not respond to seizure medications and is used for patients who are not eligible for certain types of epilepsy surgeries. It is the most advanced type of smart and self-intelligent implant and can be programmed for each patient differently. We have used the newest generation of VNS currently available in the world, making Rashid Hospital the first hospital outside Europe and North America to use this technology. The procedure helps reduce the frequency of seizures and can shorten the recovery time after a seizure. Moreover, it also reduces the emergency room visits that such patients need to undergo when they experience frequent or severe seizures. Through this treatment we are able to significantly improve the patient's level of alertness, overall mood and quality of life.”