Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), one of the UAE’s largest hospitals and a joint-venture partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic, has recently performed a successful keyhole surgery for an elite athlete suffering from Effort Thrombosis. The condition, also known as Paget-Schroetter syndrome, results from a blood clot in the subclavian vein under the collar bone and typically impacts active young adults that engage in strenuous sports activities.
The patient, an elite athlete from the United Kingdom, suffered from persistent pain and swelling in her left arm. Three months prior to undergoing her procedure at SSMC, the patient experienced congestion in her arm veins and was subsequently diagnosed with a blood clot in her subclavian vein. After consulting several specialists across the UAE, she was finally referred to SSMC to treat her case of effort thrombosis.
Dr. Mohamed Baguneid, Consultant and Chair of the Vascular Surgery Division at SSMC shared a more detailed account of the patient’s case and said: “After a thorough examination, it was apparent that the patient had thoracic outlet sydnrome, which was causing her Effort Thrombosis. This occurs when the vein, artery and nerves in the upper arm are severely compressed by bulky neck muscles on the 1st rib. After confirming the patient’s diagnosis with a CT scan, and taking into account her professional concerns, we decided to conduct a minimally invasive keyhole surgery to remove her first rib and the abnormally bulky muscles that were compressing her vein.” Dr. Baguneid added: “I was able to perform this keyhole surgery by making a very small incision in her armpit instead of opting for the more common approach that involves a cosmetically disfiguring incision in the front of the chest. The previously blocked vein was released from its compression and with the help of anticoagulation was opened and working well before she left the hospital”
The patient was especially keen on addressing her Effort Thrombosis in a manner that allowed her to sustain her professional career in athletics. After consulting more than 20 doctors, the patient was both relieved and reassured to learn that Dr. Baguneid was an expert in treating Effort Thrombosis. His extensive experience in successfully conducting this type of surgeries for a number of Premier League footballers and elite athletes in the UK was another factor that reassured the patient that she would be able to continue pursuing her passion and career in sports.
Commenting on her experience at SSMC, the patient said: “For someone that has dedicated their professional life to sports, being diagnosed with effort thrombosis was an alarming and stress inducing discovery. Luckily, thanks to Dr. Baguneid and the multidisciplinary team at SSMC, my procedure was successfully completed in just one hour and I was able to leave the hospital two days after my procedure.” The patient added: “I’m forever grateful to every single person that was involved in my treatment journey at SSMC and for all the compassion, professionalism and support they demonstrated.”
Once the patient was discharged, the vascular surgery team provided the patient with a thorough physiotherapy program so that she could resume her usual sports routine once she was fully recovered and rehabilitated.
Dr. Matthew Gettman, Chief Medical Officer at SSMC highlighted the hospital’s focus on providing a compassionate patient experience and said: “Our primary value at SSMC is to place patients’ needs first. Through a holistic approach that considers patients’ personal concerns and preferences, we ensure the development of customized treatment plans backed by the latest technologies and techniques. Our commitment to delivering world-class care will always be elevated by our shields of practice, research and education and driven by our unique model of care.”