Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s high-tech screening and individualized care allows for minimally invasive endoscopic treatment of early cancers

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, August 26, 2020: Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of the Mubadala’s healthcare network, has introduced a specialized endoscopic treatment that eliminates the need for surgery in patients with gastrointestinal precancerous lesions and early cancers, expanding oncology care in the region.

Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD) is an advanced endoscopic resection technique that allows for removal of precancerous and early malignant lesions of the gastrointestinal lumen – esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum – in one piece.

The advantage of this procedure is that it provides endoscopic access to the deeper layers of the tissue for careful dissection using specialized electrosurgical knives resulting in clearance from the cancer cells and much shorter recovery time compared to traditional surgery. Such advanced procedures rely on regular high-quality screenings for detection of precancerous lesions and early cancers to optimize results for patients.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is currently the only hospital in the Middle East to provide this complex procedure as a treatment option. The hospital has already treated seven patients with ESD, all of whom are now cancer-free.

“ESD was pioneered in Japan 25 years back but has only been adopted more widely in the last five years. It was developed to enable resection of much larger and complex lesions, which cannot be done with conventional endoscopic techniques, and a way to avoid the risks of surgery. However, because of the complexities involved and higher skill levels required, not many hospitals can offer this treatment,” said ​Dr. Ammar Kheir, a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, who trained for the procedure in Japan and Australia.

Dr. Kheir adds that the availability of high-tech upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy using image-enhanced techniques to detect precancers and early cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum is crucial to provide such minimally invasive individualized treatment options.

“At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, we use state-of-the-art endoscopic imaging technology that allows us to assess the significance of the pathology in real-time for early intervention, and to determine the right treatment for the patient. This is very important to ensure better outcomes for the patient,” he added.

Dr. Kheir recently treated a patient with a neuroendocrine tumor, identified in its early stage, with this procedure.

“This localized tumor arose from the deeper layers of the stomach, so we decided to cure this lesion endoscopically by ESD and stomach surgery was avoided. With standard endoscopic treatment, there could be a high possibility of leaving behind cancer cells buried deep that would be hard to detect.”

He explains that the medical team removed the patient’s 6mm deep tumor through a full resection of the area. “By clearing the vertical and horizontal margins, we managed to get out the tumor in one piece. We were able to close the resected areas facilitating quicker body healing and next day discharge, which isn’t done routinely but we have managed to in all our ESD cases at the hospital.”

The 54-year-old patient who received the innovative treatment says that he used to suffer from regular stomach issues, which were affecting his quality of life.

“It was during my annual checkup that Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi managed to detect the tumor early on and from there my experience with the doctors and care at the hospital has been nothing short of excellent,” he said.

“I can now take on some new projects at work that I had deferred because of my constant stomach issues, which were adding to my stress levels. I am more focused on my health now and have been educating my family to go for annual medical checks because prevention is always better than cure.”

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi continues to expand its range of cancer services as it prepares to open a dedicated oncology center. Modelled on Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Center in the USA, the facility will provide a full range of advanced treatments in a central location and house support services designed to make patients as comfortable as possible as they receive their care.

For more information or to book an appointment at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, call 800 8 CCAD (2223) visit or download the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi app.


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