Posted on December 22, 2014

Congenital heart disease is the most common congenital defect affecting Qatari children with nearly one in every 100 live birth. The most common defect manifests as a hole between the two ventricles (VSD), and this is followed by a hole in the upper chamber (ASD). Complex heart disease usually follows. There are also a few cases of hypo plastic left heart syndrome born each year in Qatar.

Leading physicians from Qatar will attend the Middle East’s largest medical congress, the Arab Health Congress, from 26-29 January 2015 in Dubai, UAE, to discuss potential life-saving treatments for children from the GCC and MENA region with congenital heart defects. In particular, Dr Ziyad Hijazi, Chair Pediatrics Director Sidra Cardiovascular Center of Excellence, Sidra Medical & Research Center, Doha, Qatar, will be speaking about the use of Percutaneous Pulmonary Valve Implantation (PPVI) in Paediatric cardiology.

“PPVI is one of the recent developments in the treatment of structural heart disease and has evolved as an attractive alternative to surgery in patients with dysfunctional right ventricle-pulmonary artery conduits. I’m currently evaluating a new valve designed specifically to meet the needs of the 85% of patients needing a pulmonary valve that the currently approved valves do not meet. I have performed “FIH” [first in human] on May 24th, 2013, on two patients with excellent results,” commented Dr Hijazi.

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Percutaneous pulmonary valves truly changed the face of interventional pediatric cardiology. A valve can now be replaced without the need for open heart surgery. This technology is saving thousands of patients, both children and adults from the morbidity and mortality and repeat open heart surgeries.

According to Dr Hijazi: “Nowadays, not all cardiac defects require immediate action. However, a pediatric cardiologist needs to be involved from the beginning to diagnose accurately, and provide advice and follow up. We are building a premier cardiac center at Sidra to fill the needs of the Qatari children, but also hoping to provide care for children in GCC and the MENA region. We have assembled a group of top cardiac specialists with different sub specializations in congenital heart disease. We hope to help those with complex cardiac defects in the future.”

The Arab Health Congress will also feature key presentations from other healthcare professionals from Sidra Medical & Research Center including Dr Deepak Kaura, Clinical Chief, Radiology, and Dr Julio C. Silva, Chief Medical Informatics Officer.