A baby born with a rare disorder at Ras Al Khaimah Hospital had a successful, complex surgery - at just one day of age.
Her Emirati mother May Hassan had an uneventful pregnancy, but hours after Maha Ahmad Muradi was born on December 26, doctors noticed she was struggling to swallow, unable to eat and had an abnormally swollen stomach.
Experts at the hospital diagnosed an annular pancreas with a duodenal diaphragm, a condition so rare it affects only one in 20,000 newborns.
Within hours, Dr Anup Panigrahi, a laparoscopic surgeon and head of minimal-access surgery at RAK Hospital, had to make the "tough call" to go ahead with the intrusive surgery.
Dr Panigrahi performed an emergency intestinal bypass to relieve Maha of her symptoms. She has since made a full recovery.
Mrs Hassan spoke of her gratitude to the medical team who saved her baby girl's life.
"Seeing our little baby vomiting and crying constantly in pain made us so miserable," she said.
"We couldn't comprehend the thought of our newborn going through such an operation but we were assured by Dr Panigrahi and the team at RAK Hospital, and we are so thankful to Allah that we took the right decision.
"With God's grace our baby is happy, playful and thriving well. We don't know if we can thank the doctor enough for bringing happiness back to our life."
After the surgery, Maha spent three weeks in recovery at the neonatal intensive care unit before she was discharged. She is now at home with her parents.
Dr Panigrahi described the decision to go ahead with the operation, which required a lot of counselling of the worried parents.
"Congenital causes of duodenal obstruction require surgery which can relieve the obstruction, and is commonly successful without complication," he said.
"We are happy that the surgery has presented great results and the baby has recovered well without any complications."
Annular pancreas is a congenital defect. Although doctors do not know what causes the disorder, which accounts for about 1 per cent of all intestinal obstructions in newborns, it is associated with congenital disorders including Down syndrome and Hirschsprung's disease.
Symptoms occur when the ring of pancreas squeezes and narrows the small intestine so that food cannot pass easily or at all.