The thoracic surgeon team at the Al-Shefaa Medical Complex in Gaza have performed a first-of-a-kind surgery to remove a 7-kg cancerous tumor from a patient who had suffered eight months of dyspnea.
Headed by Dr. Raed Al-Arini, the thoracic surgeon hired by Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS), the team managed to save the patient’s life and bring a smile on his family’s face.
Hamdan Awad (63), a resident of Rafah, southern Gaza, said he had felt severe pain, fatigue, and weight loss. “At first, I was reluctant to go to hospital for treatment, out of fear of the Coronavirus,” he stated. “As the pain became more terrible, however, my family admitted me to the Nasser Medical Complex, where I met Dr. Saber Al-Sarfandi, QRCS’s consultant thoracic surgeon in Gaza, and started the diagnosis and treatment”.
Dr. Al-Sarfandi said, “When Awad came to us, we made the standard medical examinations. X-ray showed a fluid swelling in the right lung, and then, the CT scan revealed a large tumor”.
Under medical cooperation, Dr. Al-Arini was contacted to perform the surgery at the Al-Shefaa Medical Complex, with all the data of the case reported.
After extra medical examinations, Dr. Al-Arini explained, it was found that the patient needed a surgical intervention to remove the tumor. The case was discussed by a medical team of X-ray, anesthesia, and surgical specialists, and the health conditions were reported to the management.
“During the 4-hour surgical operation,” he added, “the medical team could remove the tumor, which weighed around 7 kg. It was a successful procedure, despite the challenges. There was a difficulty accessing the veins feeding into the cancerous area. We had to keep calm and concentrated throughout the operation to preserve the patient’s life”.
In the post-procedure period, the patient was put under intensive care for 48 hours, and then was followed-up by the department of thoracic surgery. A new biopsy was taken and sent to the pathological lab to identify the type of cancer.
As the vital signs of the patient were stable, he was discharged from hospital to start a new life, after too much pain and fear.
According to Dr. Al-Arini, the surgery was a remarkable medical achievement, as such cases were typically referred for treatment out of Gaza. He had already dealt with five similar cases, but smaller in size.
Awad and his family were so happy for the success of surgery. Currently, he is attending prescribed sessions of physiotherapy. His health is now significantly better, and he is doing much better than before.
This surgical intervention falls under QRCS’s $1.4 million project to support specialized surgeries in Gaza, which covers many specializations, including cardiothoracic, vascular, orthopedic, and urologic surgeries.
Also, it involves local programs on clinic pharmacology and advanced training in minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Other components of the project include supporting MA in Health Management, Diploma of Anesthesia and Intensive care, and phenylketonuria (PKU) patients.