The Fact Maker

Doctors at Tawam Hospital perform lifesaving operation on 8-year-old boy suffering from widespread tumor growth

Six-hour operation carried out at the SEHA-operated hospital’s world-class Pediatric Oncology Ward

Specialist cancer doctors and surgeons working at Tawam Hospital, part of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the UAE’s largest healthcare network, have successfully saved the life of an eight-year-old Filipino boy after removing several tumors from his kidney, lungs and abdomen.

The child was referred from a private hospital to Tawam Hospital ICU in Al Ain, one of the top cancer centres of excellence for paediatric oncology in the UAE, with low oxygen saturation and difficulty breathing with suspicions of a large mass in the chest. Detailed examination and investigation revealed a large tumor in his left kidney, with the cancer having also spread to his lungs. Due to the critical nature of his case, the boy was provided with an immediate chemotherapy plan to treat the disease and limit progression.

After showing noticeable improvements with over the course of six weeks of chemotherapy treatment, the young patient was transferred to the Paediatric Oncology Ward for further assessment and investigation to measure the response of the tumour to the treatment.  The diagnostic team includes physicians across many medical specialties, including radiologists, pathologists and Paediatric surgeons. Further investigation confirmed that several tumours were still active in the abdomen, a decision was reached that surgery to excise the tumour was the course of treatment. After a six-hour procedure, surgeons successfully removed the kidney tumour and all tumours surrounding the great vessels and inside the main vein in the abdomen.

Dr. Najam Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed Awan, Specialist Physician, Haematology / Oncology, Tawam Hospital said: “SEHA has established a top-of-the-line paediatric oncology unit that places the child at the very heart of its care. At Tawam Hospital, we maintain a high level of both physical and emotional wellbeing so that the patient can persevere through the course of his or her treatment and the healing process with an optimistic outlook.”

Dr Hilal Matta, Consultant and chief of paediatric surgery, Tawam Hospital said:

“In this case, it was vital to remove all the tumours from the abdomen including the part that surround the vessels and was inside the Inferior Vena Cava, the major vein the abdomen. The procedure continued for six hours and was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons from several practices. When dealing with such complex cases, it is of vital importance for any medical team to come up with a delicate and personalized treatment and surgical plan for the patient. We are proud to have such resources and expertise here at Tawam Hospital.”

“I asked people to pray for me, so I wouldn’t worry,” the patient’s mother said. “I don’t think the worry ever totally goes away. You learn to cope with it in your own way, whether it is prayer, talking to someone or seeking out positive moments. Placing our faith and trust into the expert medical team at Tawam Hospital’s is what has guided us through our journey.”

The patient is continuing his regular follow-up treatment plan with the oncology team for continuity of care.

Tawam Hospital prides itself on its world-class surgical cancer care, chemotherapy and radiation treatments that are performed to the highest international standards. The hospital uses the latest technologies to diagnose, stage and monitor cancers along with state-of-the-art pathology services to care for patients of all ages.