Sidra surgeons successfully perform multiple surgeries on baby with breathing, swallowing issues

Sidra surgeons successfully perform multiple surgeries on baby with breathing, swallowing issues

QLNews
By QLNews

Surgeons at Sidra Medicine, a member of Qatar Foundation, have performed several groundbreaking operations in the past.

They recently performed multiple life-saving procedures on a baby who was experiencing complications with breathing and swallowing due to a small larynx and large cysts in her tongue and throat. 

Baby Thinnara’s parents sought the help of Sidra Medicine’s Children’s Emergency Department and specialist Otolaryngology clinic to address their child’s breathing and swallowing issues.

“Watching your baby being unable to swallow and look malnourished is heartbreaking. We felt so helpless seeing her struggle and I was getting desperate to find out what was wrong. My beautiful little girl was losing weight and was in obvious distress. We were at our wit's end until we finally came to Sidra Medicine,” said Thinnara’s mother.

Dr Faisal Abdulkader, Div. Chief of Otolaryngology and Audiology at Sidra Medicine, said: “When Thinnara came to our Children’s Emergency Department, we immediately saw that she had stridor, a common breathing issue as a result of a blocked upper airway as well as severe laryngomalacia. Laryngomalacia is a congenital softening of the tissues of the larynx (above the vocal cords), which causes the tissues to block the airway opening.”

“Thinnara also had a mass under her tongue, which was making it difficult to breathe and latch on for breast or bottle feeding and as a result, she had a feeding tube that was inserted by a different hospital, to help her with nasogastric feeding.”

The emergency team referred her to the Otolaryngology clinic for further testing and diagnostics. 

“When we conducted a more thorough assessment including diagnostic imaging on Thinnara, we found a large cystic mass in her throat, which had almost completely replaced her tongue. She also had a small larynx (voice box). All of these were quite concerning as it was causing her failure to thrive. Her case was rare because of the magnitude of complications and the multiple procedures that needed to be done,” said Dr Abdulkader.

Taking a multidisciplinary approach to Thinnara’s treatment, the team at Sidra Medicine immediately set about performing complex surgical procedures to remove the cysts and widen her larynx.

“Time was of the essence, which is why we arranged for immediate surgery while she was still intubated from her MRI scan. One of the biggest challenges we had to overcome was to secure her airway during anaesthesia — because it was severely blocked. Over the course of almost a full day, we conducted the procedures to remove the mass under her tongue, and the cyst in her throat and performed supraglottoplasty to widen her larynx. Quite a lot for a baby who’s only a few months old! What a warrior Thinnara is!”

Following her surgery, and thanks to the speciality care provided by an entire team in the pediatric intensive care unit which was supported by speech, language and respiratory therapy, dietary and nutritional services, Thinnara was discharged within a week. 

“We’re overwhelmed with gratitude and love for not only the wonderful care my daughter received but how we were taken care of as a family. Just a few days after the surgery, we saw her smile!  Everyone has been exceptional – and we particularly want to thank Dr Faisal Abdelkader, who went above and beyond to help Thinnara. And special mention to the wonderful team of nurses and child life specialists. What a relief and assurance it’s to have such a hospital. We’re all breathing a lot easier now,” said her mother.

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