ABU DHABI // An Emirati teenager with a rare heart tumour is one of tens of thousands of patients who have been treated at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi since it opened its doors a year ago.
The medical campus on Al Maryah Island, which was one of the Abu Dhabi’s most-anticipated flagship projects, started treating patients a year ago this month as part of a 10-week rollout of services.
Since then, the 364-bed hospital has seen 89,000 outpatient visits and treated patients from more than 40 countries.
It has also seen 3,400 surgical procedures, including the recent case of a UAE national suffering with a heart tumour; a condition that affects between only 1 in 1,000 to 100,000 people, according to CCAD.
The 17-year-old had undergone a routine health screening at her school, including an echocardiogram (a test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart). Although she did not show any symptoms, the test revealed a mass in her heart – later diagnosed as a tumour.
A team of surgeons led by Dr Rakesh Suri, chief of staff and of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the clinic, and Dr Johannes Bonatti, chief of the clinic’s Heart and Vascular Institute, used a minimally-invasive approach to remove the tumour.
“What this patient had was a very rare tumour, ” said Dr Suri. “Working with a skilled group of imaging experts, anaesthesiologists and nurses, Dr Bonatti and I were able to completely remove the tumour through a very small incision in the heart in about 20 minutes.
“The patient was discharged from hospital only four days after her surgery, and diagnostics showed the tumour to be benign.”
The patient’s mother, who preferred not to be named, thanked the hospital’s surgical team.
“This experience has shown us how important it is to have regular check-ups with a physician,” she said. “I am very thankful that we discovered the tumour early, but even more thankful that we were able to stay right here in Abu Dhabi for the advanced care my daughter needed for this rare condition.”
The hospital, developed by Mubadala Healthcare, a unit of Mubadala Development, has services including an eye clinic, internal medicine, infectious diseases, rheumatology, pain management, nervous system, brain and spine, digestive health, urology and kidney, dermatology, plastic surgery and an emergency department.
CCAD only accepts Thiqa cardholders, who are exclusively Emirati, people with select Daman enhanced plans, and those who are self-funding.