Instead of spending days in hospital after having his spleen removed, a pioneering surgery means the teenager is recovering at home with family.
Abdullah, 13, becomes a part of UAE history
SHARJAH // A 13-year-old Emirati boy is recovering at home after a successful operation to remove his spleen using keyhole surgery for the first in the UAE.
Abdullah Hassan Al Marzouqi suffers from sickle-cell anaemia,and doctors at Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah used a complicated and specialist technique to operate on him - a technique that did not require any incisions to be made.
Instead, said Dr Khaled Khalfan Sabt Al Ali, a specialist surgeon and deputy technical director at the hospital, tiny holes were made in the boy's stomach. "The spleen was then melted inside and collected in an endoscopic bag and then removed through the holes in the stomach," Dr Khaled added.
He said that not long after the surgery, Abdullah was well enough to be discharged and return home. If the traditional splenectomy surgery, which requires a incision to be made on the patient's stomach, had been used Abdullah would have spent days in hospital recovering.
Dr Mohammed Hassan, a consultant paediatrician who assisted Dr Khaled with the surgery, said the boy's spleen needed to be removed as it had become so big, at about 560grams, it was preventing him from leading a normal life. An adult spleen should weigh about 100-200g.
"He was also very pale and weak. After surgery you can see he is regaining his health and colour," Dr Hassan said.
Hassan Mohammed Al Marzouqi, Abdullah's father, was full of praise for the doctors after the successful operation. "Every few minutes I would rush to the mosque to say some prayers and come back to get the news from the doctor on the progress of the operation," he said. "We were so anxious for something that was being done for the first time on our son.
"But after the success of this operation I have confirmed there is no other place with good treatment like this country - and Al Qassimi Hospital specifically."
Abdullah, a grade 7 student at a Dubai school, said: "I am now feeling better and, inshallah, I will start doing sports, playing football and I will be strong," he said.
"I am also happy that the operation has been done when we are on holiday, as I have not missed school at all. I will be good enough to resume studies with my colleagues once school starts."