Posted on May 21, 2016

A Saudi citizen, Mr. Hamad Sa'id Al Nabit Al Marri, has thanked a multidisciplinary team of surgeons from Hamad General Hospital (HGH) for their success in treating his seven-month-old son, Mohamed, who was diagnosed with tetralogy of fallot (a congenital heart defect) after his birth.

"My thanks goes to all members of the team, particularly the surgeons, Dr. Akhlaque N Bhat, Senior Consultant of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Saad Sohail, Consultant Pediatric Cardiologist and Ms. Mishael Al Anzi, a nurse from HGH’s Surgery Department, for taking care of my child,” Mr. Al Marri said in an appreciation letter sent to the team of surgeons who treated Mohamed.

"I had complete trust in the medical diagnosis of my baby when he was born at Women’s Hospital. This continued throughout his follow up appointments with pediatric cardiologists from the Outpatient linic up until when the operation was carried out,” said Mr. Al Marri. He added that the multidisciplinary team of surgeons had shown great interest in his child's case and kept explaining to him the results of the examinations conducted on Mohamed and emphasizing the importance of follow up appointments for ongoing tests.

Dr. Bhat described Mohamed’s diagnosis - tetralogy of fallot - as four anatomical abnormalities of the heart. He said the disease consists of a combination of four problems which include:

  • A hole in the heart between the two pumping chambers (ventricles).
  • Obstruction to the flow of blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs.
  • A thick and hypertrophied (increased volume of an organ or tissue due to the enlargement of its component cells) right pumping chamber of the heart.
  • The aorta (which is one of the two large vessels arising from the heart) overriding the hole in the heart.

“Mohamed had open heart surgery to correct all the defects in one stage. The special thing about his case is that we were able to save his pulmonary valve, which is not always possible. In more than 70 percent of patients, the pulmonary valve has to be sacrificed to remove the obstruction to the blood flow from the right side of the heart,” he explained, adding that: “The implications of this are good for Mohamed as he will not need a new valve as an adult.”

Dr. Sohail said: "Mohamed was transferred to the Pediatric Cardiac Department after his birth, when x-ray results showed that he has a congenital heart defect and required urgent treatment, which was open heart surgery.” He mentioned that due to the child’s frequent pulmonary infections, the team had postponed his operation for several months. He added: “The surgery was managed well and it was less invasive. It was a success with very few complications."

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