Clinic consultation

Doctors at Sheikh Shakhbout Medical Clinic reconstruct Filipino patient’s neck

This photo shows the patient after neck surgery.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), one of the largest hospitals in the UAE for acute and complex care and a joint venture partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic, successfully performed maxillofacial surgery -High-risk complex oral facial on a patient with a recurrent tumor.

The 42-year-old Filipino patient’s journey dates back to 2009 when she noticed a small lump behind her ear similar to the size of a bean. When she consulted her local doctor, she was first prescribed paracetamol and ear drops. After a few years of ignoring the acute pain, the lump continued to grow and the patient was then diagnosed with a parotid tumor.

Dr John Devine, Consultant Maxillofacial, Head and Neck Surgery and Division Director at SSMC, said: ‘The patient had presented with a parotid tumor which is an abnormal growth of cells that form in the parotid glands , the largest of the three major salivary glands. glands. After the first surgery in 2016, the patient had a recurrence of the tumor in 2018, and later in 2020 she underwent a biopsy, which identified the tumor as a malignant acinar cell carcinoma. The patient came to us in 2021, we found that the tumor had become quite advanced, the size of a fist and was ulcerating her skin.


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Dr. Devine, with a multidisciplinary team, conducted a full investigation of a CT scan and biopsy, which then confirmed the malignant state of the tumor and the potential for it to spread to other parts of the body. The team determined that the patient required surgery and that the tumor was operable.

The multidisciplinary team was composed of the maxillofacial surgeon, the radiologist, the pathologist, the speech therapist, the dietician and the physiotherapist.

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Dr. John Devine, maxillofacial, head and neck surgery, consults with the patient.

“The surgery itself had several risks that the team had to consider and control, including facial paralysis being a key risk. We also had to design the surgery in such a way that we could perform reconstruction, which was necessary due to the size of the tumor. We performed the procedure using a facial NIM alarm system to detect nerves and remove the tumor along with a large portion of the skin from the face. We then removed a segment of his upper arm, an artery and a vein to reconstruct the area. We are delighted to have performed the extraction and the reconstruction within the same surgery,” continued Dr. Devine.

The patient said, “I was very happy that the operation went well and that I was finally able to get the help I needed after living with the tumor for so long. I’m so happy with the results and I’m so thankful to Dr. Devine because he really went the extra mile and the nursing staff were very caring and checked on me daily.

During the post-operative phase, SSMC provided the appropriate care where the patient underwent speech therapy, sessions with a physiotherapist and consulted a dietitian.

“We owe the success of this surgery to our team of multidisciplinary experts who provided 360 degree care to the patient. We are extremely happy to have been able to support the patient, not only by removing a life-threatening tumour, but by significantly improving her quality of life after suffering from her condition for so many years,” Dr. Devine concluded.