DUBAI: A team of surgeons at Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah, successfully removed an enlarged 18cm gallbladder from the abdomen of a UAE resident, who had suffered from acute stomach pain for more than a year.
The four-and-a-half hour operation was performed on a middle-aged female patient who had been experiencing excruciating abdominal pain which made it difficult for her to walk or straighten her back.
Dr Sajad Ali Mohammad, Specialist General and Laparoscopic Surgeon at Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah, said: “The patient came with symptoms of severe stomach pain and an ultrasound scan of her abdomen revealed a distended gallbladder with a huge stone blocking its neck.”
Prior to her appointment at Zulekha Hospital, the patient, who wishes to remain anonymous, had consulted clinicians at several other local hospitals where she received treatment for minor stomach ailments and other acidity-related problems.
Dr Mohammad added: “The patient was in such severe condition that she had to walk with her back bent and upon thorough examination, we recommended an immediate surgery.”
Performed by a team of expert clinicians, the operation revealed an abnormally enlarged and inflamed 18cm long gallbladder with thickened walls that prevented the doctors from performing a standard laparoscopic surgery. Gallbladders are normally 7-10cm in length.
Dr Mohammad said: “On average we operate about 300 cases of this disease every year with the use of procedure known as laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This time, however, the surgery was much more challenging and we had to perform in open technique as the gallbladder occupied most of the patient’s right abdomen side, making it impossible to be completed by laparoscopy.”
Conducted by a surgeon, two anaesthetists and nurses, the surgery involved doctors making one large incision to remove the swollen gallbladder and several stones, with the largest one measuring 6cm in diameter.
The patient said: “I had visited many hospitals and did not get any relief for my pain until I consulted Dr Mohammad at Zulekha Hospital, who immediately advised me to undergo a surgery for the gallstones.
“He was extremely caring and was available throughout my stay, making me feel safe and confident I was in good hands. I am grateful to the entire team for their support and thank to them I am finally back in good health.”
According to international study “Gallstones: A Worldwide Multifaceted Disease and Its Correlations with Gallbladder Carcinoma” published this November by Public Library of Science, gallstone-associated illnesses are among the most frequent diseases in the UAE and India and are thought to result from environmental conditions and dietary habits prevalent in this part of the world.