Dubai: In a first for the UAE, surgeons at the Burjeel Specialty Hospital, Sharjah removed the uterus of a patient using a scar less laparoscopy surgery technique through the belly button. Emma Masangacay a 45-year old Filipina expatriate and mother of two was discharged in two days and is doing very well.
Elaborating on the surgery conducted on September 29, Dr J S Raj Kumar, specialist Laparoscopy surgeon said: “This is one of the rarest surgeries and was conducted for the first time in the UAE. The patient had two fibroids in the uterus that triggered a history of heavy bleeding and cramping during her menstruation. Since she had already borne children who were grown up, she wanted to opt for uterus removal.”
Small incisions on the belly button
Elaborating on the procedure, Dr Raj Kumar said: “Traditional Laparoscopic Surgery involves 4 or 5 small holes in the patient’s abdomen. However, in this procedure we were able to use 3 tiny holes measuring less than 1mm within the scar of the belly button or umbilicus itself. The laparoscope is introduced through that incision and the uterus is extracted through the birth canal. “
He continued: “The biggest advantage of a single site laparoscopic surgery is that it leaves no visible scars or suture marks, in addition to minimising pain and reducing hospital stay. The incisions needed for the surgery are very well hidden in the natural scar of the umbilicus. Besides that, the patient suffers minimal bleeding that reduces chances of post-operative infections and boosts chances of quick recovery. In this case the patient was discharged the next day.” Dr Raj Kumar added that this technique which was used for uterus removal, is also being utilised for conducting other surgeries such as non-invasive gastric bypass and also and umbilical hernias with great success.
New technique with minimum invasion
Dr Bassama Al Shehabi, specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist at the hospital, who assisted in the surgery, explained: “Normally in a traditional laparoscopy procedure one gets an angle of 45 degrees to work with. But in this scar less procedure the angle is restricted to maximum 15 degrees. So although the equipment is the same, it’s the technique with which Dr Raj Kumar navigated through the limited space that was appreciable. The uterus was pushed out through birth canal and was a literally blood less procedure. It was completed in less than two hours and the patient recovered very soon.”
Feeling much better now
Masangacay, a school nanny who was discharged on September 30, is recuperating at home told Gulf News she was very happy with the surgery. “Except for a little gastric trouble that happens when a major organ is removed, I have no pain. I felt better the next day and I know every month I will now be spared the pain and discomfort I was undergoing. My haemoglobin levels will improve and I will be on my feet sooner than later.”