Tawam Hospital – Rare Eye Surgery

Published May 5th, 2010 - 06:48 GMT

In a dramatic, first of its kind eye operation in the UAE, surgeons at Tawam Hospital in Al Ain saved the sight of a 47 year old patient suffering from Thyroid Eye Disease, using a rare procedure called Lateral and Medial Orbital Wall De-compression.

Dr. Habibullah Eatamadi, a Consultant Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgeon, who recently joined Tawam, diagnosed patient Mr. Masood with a condition known as Fulminating Thyroid Eye Disease. Dr. Eatamadi said that Mr. Masood’s case was severe and urgent, but fortunately operable.

Thyroid eye disease is an ‘autoimmune condition’ that causes swelling of muscles and fatty tissue behind the eyes. Swelling of the tissues in-turn pushes the actual eye forward, out of the eye socket, a condition known as ‘exophthalmos’. The patients have ‘starey eyes’.

In the case of Mr. Masood, the swelling behind the eyes was so severe that the nerve responsible for sight (optic nerve) was compressed. If this latter condition was not managed immediately, the chances of loosing his vision would have been extremely high.

“Although Mr. Masood needed immediate treatment, his case was fortunately still operable.” said Dr. Eatamadi. “The surgery was very successful and gave him immediate relief.”

The symptoms of thyroid eye disease are generally varied, which is why it is so often misdiagnosed; watery eyes; redness; puffy lids; restlessness; increased appetite; double vision; redness of the lids; decreased vision; color vision alteration – all are potential symptoms of thyroid eye disease.

While many doctors may be aware of the condition, the warning signs are more prevalent among other illnesses and thyroid eye disease may not be identified immediately. For patients, it is a disorder which most sufferers will not recognize. Mr. Massod is one of those patients.

"For me it was a total shock”, said Mr. Masood. “It was something that I didn't even know existed, and then to find out that was causing my symptoms was frightening. I'm just so thankful that it was diagnosed in time and that Dr. Eatamadi was there to assess the damage and operate. Al Hamdallah, I owe my sight to him."

Dr. Habibullah Eatamadi, Consultant Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgeon, recently joined Tawam Hospital to start the Oculoplastic and Orbital service in the Department of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Eatamadi commented: “Tawam Hospital is the only public hospital that offers this service to its patients. We have been receiving referrals from all over the UAE. This rare ophthalmic sub-specialty, includes dealing with a number of diseases and conditions, such as, management of thyroid eye diseases; watery eyes; droopiness of the eyelids (ptosis) in children and adults; tumors of the eye, orbit and eyelids; conditions where there is a need to do surgical interventions to expand the socket of the eye to enable the patient to wear artificial eyes. Tawam Hospital is very pleased to accept all referrals and deal with them.”

Tawam Hospital is part of the SEHA HealthSystem and is owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  The hospital is managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International.

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