Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi records sharp rise in organ transplants

Hospital has carried out more than 200 since organ programme launch in 2017

A tracheotomy operation on an intensive care covid patient. Milan (Italy), April 21st  2020 (Photo by Daniele Frediani/Archivio Daniele Frediani/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
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Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi recorded its biggest year for organ transplants, with 117 carried out in 12 months, its annual report for 2021 shows.

The flagship hospital completed 56 kidney, 46 liver and five pancreas transplants, along with three heart and seven combined transplants within the year.

That made up more than half of all transplants performed since its launch in 2017.

One of the operations was for Montasir, a boy, 14, who became CCAD’s youngest transplant recipient from a living donor in May 2021, when he received a life-saving organ from his older brother.

"The procedure was one of the most complex living donor transplants ever performed at the hospital," said Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, chairman of CCAD, in a statement.

"We are proud that Montasir has since made a full recovery. To me, this story encapsulates what makes Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi special."

Throughout last year, CCAD recorded almost 800,000 patient encounters, including 693,446 completed outpatient appointments, 22,098 surgical cases, 13,220 hospital patient admissions and 55,534 emergency department visits.

The workload was shouldered by a team of 5,560 caregivers, including 416 physicians, more than a fifth of whom are Emirati.

CCAD also recorded an increase of 35 per cent in robotic urology surgeries, a 27 per cent increase in open heart surgeries and an 80 per cent increase in structural heart procedures in 2021.

The first international extracorporeal membrane oxygenation retrieval was successfully completed from Bahrain as was the first PreserFlo™ MicroShunt glaucoma surgery in the Middle East, a minimally invasive procedure that reduces complications of traditional glaucoma.

The clinic's epilepsy programme also grew by 12 per cent during the year.

"These are just a very small selection of the remarkable achievements across our institutes," said Jorge Guzman, CCAD's chief executive.

"We want to serve more patients and we want our patients to feel Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is the best place to receive care.

"At the same time, it is our ongoing mission to be the best place to work in health care."

Plans include the opening of a dedicated cancer centre, which is expected to start welcoming patients next month.

"It will mark another historic milestone for Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, providing the highest standards of specialised oncological screening, diagnostics and treatments, ensuring that cancer patients have access to the best and most comprehensive care in the UAE and the region," said Mr Guzman.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi milestones in 2021

  • CCAD performed the UAE's first deep-brain stimulation operation. The life-changing treatment, which involves a lengthy operation supported by an extensive, multidisciplinary team, was given to four Emiratis living with Parkinson’s disease. The patients all benefited from a significant reduction in the symptoms associated with their condition after the surgery.
  • In a global first, doctors at CCAD devised an innovative method to significantly reduce the risk involved in aortic aneurysm surgery. The modified branch-first surgical technique was successfully performed at the hospital on a patient undergoing open surgical repair of his enlarged aorta.
  • CCAD performed the UAE's first ‘own’ kidney transplant. The complex surgery saw surgeons successfully transplant a kidney back into a patient after removing it to excise a cancerous tumour.
  • An Emirati patient became the first in Abu Dhabi to receive an innovative new treatment for his advanced Parkinson’s disease. The new medication reduces the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s and helps patients to regain control of their lives.
  • CCAD performed the UAE's first tricuspid clip heart procedure. For many patients with previously untreatable severe tricuspid heart regurgitation, the innovative, complex, non-surgical procedure offers significant improvement to their quality of life.
  • Advanced technology was introduced to CCAD to reduce reliance on medication in patients suffering with chronic pain. The innovative peripheral nerve stimulation treatment offers a significant, long-lasting reduction in pain for thousands of patients living with nerve and musculoskeletal pain.
  • A physician at CCAD’s Eye Institute created innovative software technology which, when combined with high resolution ultrasound, allows patients who previously were not candidates for vision-correcting surgery due to high refractive error, to undergo the procedure, representing a world-first innovation in refractive surgery.
Updated: October 25, 2022, 2:29 AM