Oct. 26, 2022



Latest milestone comes as the hospital conducts its first gynecological robotic surgery

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 performed its first robot-assisted gynecological surgery, making it one of the few hospitals in Abu Dhabi currently offering this type of procedure. This key milestone follows the expansion of the hospital’s robotic surgery services capabilities.

The first patient, a 48-year-old from Sharjah, was referred to SSMC after initially suffering from abdominal pain due to a large pelvic mass on the left ovary. She was assessed by Dr. Salem Al Harthi, consultant general surgeon at SSMC. Dr. Al Harthi later consulted with Dr. Saladin Sawan, consultant surgeon in gynecology, oncology and robotics at SSMC, concluding that a minimally invasive approach would serve best to improve outcomes.

“Given that the patient previously had multiple surgeries, we decided to utilize the robotic surgical procedure to remove the adhesions and regain organ functionality, as well as help minimize the side effects and recovery time,” said Dr. Al Harthi. “Robotic surgeries are very beneficial for us surgeons as they provide magnified, 3D high-definition vision, a higher degree of comfort when using medical instruments, and offer easier access to areas that would have been difficult to reach using conventional methods.”, he added.

Dr. Sawan said, “At SSMC, robotic surgeries have been performed across different specialties, with gynecology being the latest addition. In my experience as a surgeon in Gynecologic Oncology and Robotic Surgery, I have always aimed to offer comprehensive surgical treatments for women with gynecological cancers, and in that regard, the robot-assisted surgery procedure provides a number of benefits such as minimal scarring, reduced risk of infection, heightened surgical precision, as well as reduced pain and discomfort for the patient. It is an honor and a privilege to offer my medical services at SSMC as one of the few doctors licensed by the Department of Health (DoH) to offer competent surgical treatment for women with gynecological cancers.”

The first robotic surgery at SSMC took place in September 2020, marking the launch of the hospital’s comprehensive robotic surgery program to help enable and enhance minimally invasive operations and improve clinical outcomes. As a destination medical center specializing in complex and serious care, SSMC’s partnership with Mayo Clinic provides patients with an amplified level of care, as they benefit from easy access to cutting-edge technologies and the latest research findings.

Dr. Matthew Gettman, who initiated the SSMC robotics program in urology and is also the Chief Medical Officer at SSMC, stated, “we are thrilled to see the ongoing expansion of robotic surgery at SSMC spearheaded by the addition of Dr. Sawan to our staff. This case exemplifies our integrated, multidisciplinary, team-based and patient-centered model of care in action that provides excellent technical results with a faster recovery.” Mayo Clinic and SSMC’s researchers are fully committed to developing new robotic surgery techniques to give patients the best medical experience possible.

About Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC)

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the UAE’s largest health care network, and Mayo Clinic, a non-profit global leader in medical care, education, and research headquartered in the United States of America. Established in 2019, SSMC is one of the largest tertiary hospitals in the UAE. SSMC serves to elevate the provision of health care services and standards by bringing to the UAE and broader region Mayo Clinic’s unique model of care, founded on the three shields of practice, education and research.

As the UAE’s leading tertiary facility, SSMC has 732 patient beds, 18 operating theatres, including a hybrid operating room and a 26-bed neonatal intensive care unit. Supported by the latest diagnostic and treatment modalities available, SSMC offers care in 34 specialties, bringing advanced and trusted quality care closer to the UAE and the wider region.

A team of locally and internationally trained physicians and allied health staff work seamlessly together to provide integrated human-centric and compassionate care, while promoting comprehensive interdisciplinary learning. SSMC is committed to becoming a regional destination medical center for complex care and a Category of One provider in health care.

About SEHA

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC–SEHA – is an independent, public joint stock company created to develop the curative activities of the public healthcare system in Abu Dhabi. The company owns and operates all the public hospitals and clinics of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

SEHA is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

SEHA is committed to continuous improvement of customer care to recognized international standards and providing the community with world-class healthcare. SEHA operates 13 hospitals with 3,385 beds, 70 ambulatory care, family care, and urgent care centers and 2 blood banks. Its facilities accommodate 117,162 inpatients annually and conduct 43,262 surgeries, as well as treating more than five million outpatients. SEHA is one of the largest integrated healthcare providers in the Middle East with more than 18,000 doctors, nurses, ancillary care, and administrative personnel. Learn more at www.seha.ae.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news and Mayo Clinic Facts for more information about Mayo.

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