Bahrain hospital performs unique spine surgery
Manama, July 2, 2013
Bahrain has become the first in the world to successfully perform a revolutionary operation to treat scoliosis, a report said.
A team of 10 medics operated on 17-year-old Bahraini Noor Ahmed Busheeri for five hours to straighten her spine at the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Hospital, according to the report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
They managed to make two small incisions in her back and use a navigation unit to see through the flesh instead of the traditional procedure where a larger cut is made down the spine and this is only performed at six medical centres around the world.
It was announced during a Press conference yesterday headed by BDF Hospital royal medical service Major General professor Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa along with BDF royal medical service consultant orthopaedic and spine surgeon Major Dr Khalid Al Kuwari and Ms Busheeri.
They explained the operation, which was performed on June 18, featured a $2 million integrated CT navigation unit, which works like a video x-ray.
"The surgery is done in six centres around the world, and I was trained to do this kind of surgery while I was in Germany," said Maj Dr Al Kuwari.
"This surgery is not new in terms of the method used, but what I have done is added the navigation part, which makes it the first-of-its-kind. Navigation added safety to the surgery."
The less invasive surgery significantly cuts the healing time, meaning patients can walk within a week after the procedure.
It costs $200,000, but with the substantial government subsidies on healthcare, it will only cost BD2,034 ($5,367) in Bahrain.
"The surgery is very complicated and I had to actually train the staff before performing the surgery," added Maj Dr Al Kuwari.
"We brought in the (navigation machine) company engineers to Bahrain to join in a one-week intensive training programme.
"There were those dealing with anaesthesia, nurses, technicians and our surgeons that had to be part of the training. It is a complex surgery that requires team work and although I personally have the know-how to perform the surgery, it is not a one-man operation."
Busheeri was diagnosed with Scoliosis a year ago, which is a condition that makes the spine curve abnormally causing pain and moving difficulties.
One in a hundred people have scoliosis, which if chronic, can be completely debilitating.
"Before the surgery, there was a lot of pain all the time and I couldn't sit on the chairs in the classroom," said Busheeri.
"My teachers would have to make exceptions for me and bring in a padded office chair for me which really drew the attention of other children.
"Now the pain is almost gone and in only two weeks after the operation, I can move and walk a lot better than before."
Surgical scoliosis treatment was not available in Bahrain, but with the success of the first operation, it will be added to the hospital's services. News of the surgery has already spread throughout the region and the hospital has created a waiting list. – TradeArabia News Service