Sharjah: 16-day old suffering from rare abnormality undergoes successful surgery at Zulekha Hospital

Media Release

Sharjah, Feb 23: Zoe Margarette underwent a successful Endoscopic repair of bilateral choanal atresia at 16 days of age at Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah on February 2, 2020. Zoe was born in a hospital in Fujairah, presented to have cyanosis during resuscitation at the time of birth, a condition that leads to bluish discolouration of the skin due to shortage of oxygen in the blood. While cyanosis can be caused by a variety of reasons more commonly related to heart and lungs, however, the doctors’ confirmed that she had bilateral choanal atresia after performing a CT scan.

Choanal atresia is a congenital disorder where the back of the nasal passage is blocked, usually by abnormal bony or soft tissue, which restricts the air to pass into the airway. In bilateral choanal atresia, both nasal passages are blocked. 

It is a rare condition, occurring in approximately 1 in 10,000 live births, and is seen more often in females than in males.

Dr Tamer Mohamed Attia, Consultant Otolaryngologist added, "Bilateral choanal atresia is a serious life-threatening medical emergency because the babies are obligate nasal breathers (they only use their noses to breathe in the first 3 months of their life). While the cause of the condition is not well determined, genetic abnormalities could be a major reason.”  

At the first hospital, Zoe was admitted to, an endotracheal tube (a flexible plastic tube placed through the mouth into the windpipe) was inserted to help her breathe as an immediate measure. From then until further investigations confirmed the condition of Zoe, she received feeding and breathing support in NICU and was referred to Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah for definitive management through surgical means.

“While the baby’s life could be saved through the maintenance of temporary airway, we cannot continuously keep the baby on the endotracheal tube as they need to be fed," stated Dr Abhijit Sen, Specialist Anesthetist.     

The two and a half hour surgery involved complete repair of atresia by removing the atretic plate and removal of the posterior one-third nasal septum, to make a common nasal opening for both nostrils to eliminate chances of reformation of the atretic plate.

“To minimize the risks of postoperative complications, we used a unique endoscopic technique called nasal septal crossover flap technique where the bones at the area with excisions are not left exposed and covered with mucosal flaps. This became possible with only the modern endoscopic microsurgical instruments and the state of the art facilities we have in our hospital," Dr Attia added.

The baby is doing fine after surgery and was able to have her first oral meal while breathing through her nose and was discharged on the fourth day after a full body check.

Dr Sujay Narayanarao, Consultant Neonatologist added, "We did a heart, brain, and abdomen scan along with eye tests for the baby to rule out any associated problems with choanal atresia, which all came out to be normal.” 

“We are very thankful to the entire surgical and NICU team for giving a new life to Zoe. Our happiness is touching the sky seeing our little girl back in good health and knowing she can lead a normal life,” expressed Catherine Balaba, mother of Zoe.

About Zulekha Healthcare Group

Zulekha Healthcare Group is a superbrand and among the forerunners in UAE healthcare. Today the Zulekha Healthcare Group includes two multidisciplinary hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah, as well as four UAE medical centres and three pharmacies providing specialized treatments in over 30 disciplines. The group also has a multidisciplinary hospital in India - Alexis. Zulekha Hospital has received extensive recognition for its commitment towards quality care and sustainable business practices, and recently received the prestigious Dubai Quality Award for the second time in four years, underling a commitment to providing high-quality healthcare to patients and society. 



Title : Sharjah: 16-day old suffering from rare abnormality undergoes successful surgery at Zulekha Hospital


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