Last year a team of highly-skilled surgeons at Hamad Medical Corporation's (HMC) Neurosciences Institute performed Qatar's first endoscopic brain surgery to remove a high-grade tumor located deep in the centre of a patient's brain, and today the patient continues to be cancer-free.
The patient, a 72-year-old Qatari female, was experiencing severe deterioration of health on arrival at the hospital and losing consciousness.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of her brain showed the presence of a tumor in a difficult location of the brain; positioned deeper and more central than is usually seen.
With the patient's consent, Acting Head of the Neurosurgery Department at Hamad General Hospital, Dr Siraj Belkhair and his team decided to perform an endoscopic brain surgery procedure with a small wound incision less than three centimeters, as the general condition of the patient would not tolerate major brain surgery.
Dr. Ahmed Own, Head of the Neuroscience Institute at HMC
Dr. Sirajeddin Belkhair
The team was able to remove the tumor surgically by using an endoscope and neuro-navigation system that could precisely locate the tumor in the brain - the technique was done through MRI brain images.
The results of the surgery exceeded all expectations and the recovery process, which included chemotherapy treatment at the National Centre for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), was without complication.
One year after the surgery, the cancer has completely disappeared and the patient is currently in good health and enjoying her life with her family and loved ones.
"Endoscopic brain surgery is a procedure used primarily to treat brain tumors. It is considered a minimally invasive brain surgery that allows neurosurgeons to identify and treat conditions that are deep within the brain. This type of surgery allows us to treat brain tumors less invasively than traditional open brain surgery, while still affording the ability to get an in-depth view of the brain," Dr Belkhair explained.
The technique used in this unique surgery was done in Hamad General Hospital by an expert neurosurgery team.
The neurosurgeons used the images transmitted by the intraoperative neuro-navigation system as a guide for removing the tumor and creating a passage within the brain tissue to prevent the accumulation of brain fluid.
The surgical team was equipped with the latest technologies and surgical instruments specialised in treating conditions that can affect the brain, such as tumors and lesions.
"Endoscopic approaches have truly transformed the way brain tumors are treated, predominantly because endoscopic techniques give a clear visualisation of the tumor, allowing surgeons to precisely localise them. These advanced techniques allow us to access the brain through pathways such as the nose and sinuses and do not limit us to only accessing the brain through the skull, which helps in removing tumors from deep and difficult areas in the brain without major complications, Dr Belkhair said.
Commenting on the success of the procedure and the endoscopic technique used for the first time in Qatar, Head of the Neuroscience Institute at HMC, Dr Ahmed Own said: "Endoscopic brain surgery represents a new milestone in HMC's efforts to provide the very best cancer care and treatment in Qatar. The success of this procedure highlights the team's commitment to providing a high-quality service with a great focus on the health and wellbeing of the patient, and also underlines HMC's ongoing journey to combat all types of cancers, including brain tumors, with the most cutting-edge treatment modalities and state-of-the-art techniques," Dr Own added.