December 2011

Three Kidney Transplant Operations Successfully Performed at HMC in Five Days, Doha, 27 December

Through the work of the HMC Qatar Organ Transplant Center, a surgery team at Hamad General Hospital (HGH) successfully performed three kidney transplant operations on 6 December and 10 December.

On 6 December, two kidney transplant operations were performed for two patients, both residents in Qatar, who had been receiving treatment at HGH’s Renal Dialysis Unit. The patients were a 39 year old Lebanese citizen and a 34 year old Pakistani citizen. The two kidneys were donated by a deceased Pilipino citizen. The third kidney transplant operation was performed for a 17 year old Iraqi citizen with kidney failure whose mother donated the kidney. The last operation comes as part of the Qatar Kidney Transplant Center’s program to host a number of kidney failure patients and their donors who require undergo kidney transplantation.

“According to the procedures adopted by HMC, the Corporation covers all pre and post operative financial expenses. Moreover, the donor receives all types of drugs without charge” said Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani Head of Organ Transplant Committee at HMC. Dr Yousef urged the public to donate kidneys as there is currently a list of more than 60 kidney failure patients waiting to receive kidneys from local donors.

Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani underlined that HMC has made huge progress in the field of kidney transplantation during 2010 and 2011, when nine successful operations were performed each year, compared with just three kidney transplant operations in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Dr Yousef highlighted a lack of kidney donors as the reason for the low number in these earlier years.

“Donors are normally subjected to exhaustive investigations for various types of diseases including hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol. I would like to point out that our kidney transplant team has recently introduced the use of endoscopy, a simple, easy handling and time saving technique, to remove the kidney from the donor. This new technique shortens the stay of patients in hospital, helps in quick recovery and is less invasive for the donor,” stated Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani.

Commenting on the surgery performed for the Iraqi, Dr. Riyadh Abdul Satar, in charge of the Organ Transplant Program at HMC, said: “This young Iraqi citizen and his mother had the option of undergoing the kidney transplant in another country as he was undergoing kidney dialysis in Jordan. However, when this patient contacted me seeking my help we managed to succeed in acquiring an entry visa for him and for his mother (the donor).

Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department

Awareness Program on Organ Donation for the Indian Community, Doha, 25 December

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Qatar Organ Transplant Center, in collaboration with Qatar Focus, an Indian youth society, organized an awareness campaign on organ donation for the Indian community in Qatar, on Friday, 23 December 2011, at Hajar Auditorium, Medical Education Center.

The program witnessed a significant turnout from the Indian community as lectures and presentations were designed specifically for them, particularly Kerala State citizens. The program was aimed at increasing awareness and raising understanding of the medical and ethical principles of organ donation and organ transplant, including Islamic Shari provisions on organ donation. Particular focus was put on the fact that organ donation offers the donor a real opportunity to save the life of another human being.

This educational program represents the first stage in a continuous awareness drive on this issue. Presentations were delivered by members of Qatar Organ Transplant Center and at the end of the program over 30% of the attendees expressed their willingness to donate organs.

Dr. Mohamad Asim, Consultant Nephrologist at HMC, delivered a lecture titled “Need for Organ Donation” with special emphasis on the prolonged wait time suffered by patients with advance stage renal failure while waiting for a donor. He also explained the procedure for selecting the beneficiary of a transplant, when a donor is found.

“When you decide to donate organs, you are directly contributing to saving the lives of eight patients suffering chronic diseases and improving the life style of 50 others. The number of patients eligible to receive organs was 45 patients in 2007. This number rose to 114 in 2011” Dr. Asim said, adding that the scarcity of donors has been the main reason behind this situation. People need to decide not to leave their organs to decompose after death, as donation of these organs to other people gives them a chance to lead a better life.

Professor M Z Shodari, Consultant Organ Transplant at HMC, addressed the issue of “Misconception about organ transplant” and said: “Organ donation has a charitable attitude whereas organ trafficking should be regarded as a legally punishable offensive and the majority of the countries worldwide strictly prohibit it. Accordingly, the family of the donor should not receive any financial benefit. Anybody, regardless of his/her age or medical history, is a potential donor based on the results of medical tests and investigations conducted by the specialized relevant medical team”.

“Beneficiaries should not be selected based on gender, race, financial situation or celebrity” stressed Prof. Shodari, who further explained the difference between coma and brain death and said: “Patients may regain conscious and exercise normal life after coma, while brain death is a condition of real death and final pass away”.

Additionally Dr. Abdul Ahad Medani, Arabic Language teacher and Director of Doha Quran Learning School, tackled the issue from a religious point of view and said: “Organ donation is one of the most humanitarian philanthropy practices which are considered, by all regions in the world, as humble charity deeds”.

The organ donation awareness program was concluded by a session, chaired by Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani, Director of Organ Transplant Center, which was specially designated for the public’s questions and answered by Dr. Shodari; Dr. Abdul Ahad Medani and Dr. Riyadh, the Director of Organ Transplant Program.

Dr. Peaugon Jabor of Qatar Focus; Mr. Shameer Falaia, the Executive officer of Qatar Focus and Dr. Nishan Borial, the Director of Healthcare Center were also involved in the discussions.

It worth mentioning that HMC performs all organ transplant surgeries without charge and that Qatar Airways grants the organ donor a free return air ticket to his/her country of origin.

Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department

First HMC Liver Transplant Patient Discharged in Good Health, Doha, 19 December

After a stable ten-day postoperative stay, the first Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) liver transplant patient was discharged from hospital in a good state of health. The first ever liver transplant in Qatar was successfully conducted by an HMC surgical team at Hamad General Hospital on 6th December 2011. The patient was successfully discharged on Thursday 15th December and will be monitored regularly at the OPD liver clinic.

“The normal postoperative hospital stay of a liver transplant patient ranges from 2-3 weeks. The rapid improvement in this patient’s health stands as a testimony for the good performance of the Qatar Liver Transplant Program” said Dr. Riyadh Abdulsattar, key consultant of HMC’s Organ Transplant Program, adding that the program is ready to deal with any similar case, provided that there is a suitable donor available.

It is worth noting that all members of the surgical team that conducted the hepatic transplant are HMC employees. This makes HMC the first medical center in the region to conduct a liver transplant with a local team of surgeons, a significant milestone for HMC.

Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department

Reputable Urology Surgeon available for Consultation at HMC, Doha, 13 December

As part of its continuous endeavors to exchange therapeutic expertise with reputable healthcare professionals worldwide, The Urology Department at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) hosts, during the period 1st. – 07 January 2011, Dr. Jamal Ghunaim, Head of Women’s Urination and Urinary Tracts Disorders Department at California University - Lorraine Medical Center / USA. For further inquiries or for booking of appointments to see this visiting physician please call us on telephone (44392731) from 08:00 am to 12:00 (midday), from Dec. 19th. to Dec. 22nd. 2011. Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department

HMC Successfully Uses Surgical Robot for Management of Snoring, Doha, 13 December

The Snoring Treatment Unit at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) ENT Department has successfully used the surgical robot for the management of snoring.

Since its introduction in November 2008, the surgical robot is increasingly being used at HMC for conducting highly precise surgeries on parts of the human body that are difficult for the surgeon’s hands to reach, such as the pelvis, below the diaphragm, the urinary tract and the cervix. The most recent application of the surgical robot is to conduct surgeries in the mouth and neck with high precision and minimal operating time.

“We have conducted robotic surgery for a snoring case for the first time in Qatar,” Dr Hayam Al-Taweel, ENT Consultant at the Snoring Unit said. She further explained, “Enlarge lingual tonsils along with base of the tongue and the abnormally long epiglottis were excised. These parts could not be reached by the hands of a surgeon except through surgical incision of the neck.”

Dr Al-Taweel said that the Snoring Treatment Unit is planning to conduct more surgeries using the surgical robot this December, due to the very short time it took to conduct the surgery and the very short post-operative stay of the patient at the hospital. Unlike traditional surgical operations, robotic surgery takes only about half-an-hour, and the patient is kept under observation at the hospital for only four to five days.

The patient who underwent the operation was previously complaining of intermittent obstructive sleep apnea and continuous snoring. Polysomnographies (sleep tests) were conducted for the patient at the Sleep Laboratory of Hamad General Hospital’s Internal Medicine Department, in addition to endoscopy under general anesthesia to find out the site of the obstruction. The surgery put an end to negative effects of the condition to the patient’s health and social life.

Dr Al-Taweel explained that invasive therapy should not be performed unless it is preceded by a series of medication and protective procedures such as weight loss, the use of mechanical ventilators or using jaw and teeth retainers. Statistics show that 187 patients (including male, female and children) have visited the Snoring Treatment Unit this year, and 127 of them have undergone surgical intervention.

“Most of the children patients were suffering from snoring and apnea due to enlargement of the tonsils and adenoids. However, Redundant of the palate and enlargement of the tonsils in adult patients is at the forefront of cases which need surgical intervention, followed by cases where there is deviation of the nasal septum and enlarge base of the tongue,” said Dr Al-Taweel.

Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound. The sound, which can be bothersome, is due to palate vibrations caused by the passage of air through the narrowing nasal tract. Snoring has become a prevalent disorder with 40 percent of adults, mostly male, suffering from the condition.

In the long term, snoring may have serious complications, particularly when it is associated with apnea during sleep, which affects five percent of snorers. Sleep apnea occurs when air is obstructed from reaching the lungs for more than ten seconds. It may lead to a number of clinical disorders such as fatigue, loss of concentration, and extreme desire for sleep during the day, including while reading or watching television, or even while driving. It may also cause increased heartbeat, hypertension, and consequently heart ailments and thrombosis.

Speaking on expansion of services at the Snoring Treatment Unit, Dr Al-Taweel said the unit started with two clinics per week, which will shortly be increased to three per week. In its drive to reduce patient waiting time for polysomnography laboratory (sleep test) at the Internal Medicine section, the unit will also be equipped with polysomnography systems next year.

Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department

Hamad Medical Corporation Surgeons Conduct the First Liver Transplant in Qatar, Doha, 11 December

A team of surgeons at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has performed the first liver transplant in Qatar, becoming the first medical center in the region to have conducted the complicated life saving surgery relying solely on local specialists.

The transplanted liver was donated by a 48-year-old Filipino resident who died of a cerebral stroke. His liver was donated to a 43-year-old Egyptian patient who had suffered for several year complications due to Hepatitis C.

The recipient is recovering well after his life changing surgery and is being closely monitored by the medical team from the Qatar Center for Organ Transplantation (QCOT) along with a team of medical professionals at Hamad General Hospital.

The surgical team was led by Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari, Consultant Surgeon and Chairman of Surgery at HMC. The team included three consultant surgeons specializing in liver transplants: Hatem Khalaf, Mohamed Shoudry, Henrique Yaktsen in addition to consultant anesthesiologist Mohamad Nagy al Masri.

The first liver transplant comes one week after the inauguration of the QCOT. HMC dedicates this great medical achievement to Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, in recognition and appreciation of her unwavering and infinite support of the National Organ Transplant Program. It is testimony to HMC’s continuous commitment to represent and achieve His Highness sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar’s vision for Qatar to become one of the world’s leading countries in medical services, especially in organ transplants.

HMC Managing Director Hanan al Kuwari PhD said: “We are proud of this great local achievement which is the culmination of the efforts of an integrated medical and administrative team over a period of more than two years. HMC achieved its goal and integrated the liver transplant program into the Qatar Program for Organ Transplantation. This was part of the organization’s continuous commitment to excellence and improvement which brings real, life changing results for our patients.”

Dr. Abdulla al Ansari said: “Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari’s leadership and support of the Liver Transplant Program’s efforts since its first inception, was instrumental to the success of this surgery. She ensured that all success factors were available for this program, from the submission of the program’s first idea, to the selection of the surgical team members, and their training in the world's best medical institutions”.

Source: Marketing and Public Relations Department