Doha, 14 July, 2021: Hamad General Hospital’s Neurosurgery team have successfully performed a complex and life-changing surgery on a patient suffering from a seizure disorder. It is the first time that brain surgery for epilepsy with intra operative electroencephalography has been performed in Qatar.
Surgery involved making skin incision and temporary remove part of skull to expose the brain (craniotomy) then neurosurgeons inserted electrodes inside the brain and on its surface to identify the brain area that is producing abnormal electrical activities and causing patient to have seizure, also during brain surgery neurosurgeon performed Brain mapping which is a procedure that can help identify what different regions of the brain do.
A "map" of each person’s brain can be made by stimulating certain brains areas. The map tells the doctors just what parts of the brain are responsible for critical functions such as movement, sensation, or speech. As a result, the focus area of brain that is causing epilepsy can be identified and removed with less risk.
HMC continues to expand and improve the care it offers to patients to ensure the healthcare system is able to offer life changing, cutting edge procedures. This is a core component of HMC’s commitment to enhance its surgical capacity and capabilities and making the most advanced treatments and surgical techniques available to Qatar’s population.
Dr.Sirajeddin Belkhair, the Head of Neurosurgery Department and Director of the Neurosurgery Residency Program at Hamad General Hospital said the procedure was performed on a 25-year-old Tunisian woman who had a history of acute brain bleeding in 2017 from congenital brain arteriovenous malformation which caused her to have left sided transient hemiparesis (weakness).
“Two years later in 2019 the patient started to report unresponsive episodes and she was diagnosed with seizure disorder and started on anti-seizure medications, but these gave her some side effects. She was referred for surgical treatment and we undertook comprehensive testing and investigations with our multidisciplinary teams including physicians from neurology and interventional neuro radiology,” Dr. Belkhair explained.
“It was concluded that we needed to perform surgical treatment to cure the patient from her epilepsy in addition to treat her brain arteriovenous malformation in order to prevent any further hemorrhage in the brain that may be life threatening.”
During the surgery, which was performed last month in Doha by Dr. Belkhair and his team, they undertook an intraoperative electroencephalogram (EEG) where they put electrodes on an exposed area of brain during the surgery to find out area of brain that is causing the seizures.
Epilepsy neurologist Dr. Gonzalo Alarcon and his team, who interpreted EEG recordings and helped with identifying areas of brain that is most likely causing seizure for patient then Dr. Belkhair surgically removed that area successfully without having complication in addition to surgically treating Brain arteriovenous malformation at the same time during the surgery.
“Brain mapping with electrical stimulation is done to increase the benefits of epilepsy surgery and lower the risks. We are happy to report that the patient recovered well after surgery with no complications and she was discharged to home just two days after surgery,” Dr. Belkhair.
Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani said the new procedure demonstrated Hamad Medical Corporation and Hamad General Hospital’s commitment to offering the latest treatments to patients.
“This is a milestone surgery from HMC and Hamad General Hospital and this will open door for more patients from Qatar and the region with epilepsy to be able to undergo this life-changing treatment,” Dr. Al Maslamani said.