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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Groundbreaking surgery helps child suffering from Apert Syndrome


Sidra Medicine has performed reconstructive surgery on a baby girl suffering from Apert Syndrome in Qatar.

Baby Eva was born with all the characteristics of Apert syndrome, including cranial and facial deformities, as well as webbed fingers and toes.

But the young child has now been given the chance to lead a healthy life after undergoing a surgery in November 2020 that involved the use of an implantable expansion device to help push the back of her skull out.

When her case was first brought up at Sidra Medicine, the neurosurgery and craniofacial team’s made the decision to surgically provide Eva’s brain more space to grow through reconstructive operations on her skull that also allows better protection for Eva’s eyes.

Division chief of Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery at Sidra Medicine Dr Mitch Stotland described the details of Eva’s malformation.

Read also: Qatar hospitals team up for first surgery to remove uterine tumours

“As part of her Apert syndrome, Eva’s skull was restricted in growing forwards and backwards, resulting in a so-called “tower skull” deformity and eyes that appear to bulge forward due to the eye sockets being very shallow. In addition, we know that babies like Eva have an increased risk of elevated pressure on the brain, as well as difficulty closing their eyes properly both while they sleep and sometimes even when they are awake,” said Stotland.

It was a success, and Eva recovered quickly and was able to return to her normal self in a matter of days.

This was thanks to a collaboration between the Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery and Neurosurgery divisions of Sidra Medicine, which introduced new state-of-the-art surgical techniques to Qatar, including new ways to treat children affected by conditions such as Apert syndrome.

The operations include surgical techniques in which large portions of the skull bone can been reformed through cutting, re-configuring and sometimes “stretching” into new shapes and positions. Such methods are used to treat malformations from different rare and complex syndromes.

Eva still needs to return to Sidra Medicine in a few months for the next stages of her treatment and reconstruction for her forehead, upper eye sockets, and to separate her webbed fingers.

Apert syndrome is a very rare craniofacial condition, affecting 1 in every 65,000 live births worldwide.

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