Tawam Hospital uses neuro-monitoring to save facial nerve in skin cancer patient

ABU DHABI, Doctors at Tawam Hospital, part of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), successfully used neuro monitoring to ensure facial nerve integrity in a complex surgery.

The surgery was performed on a 70-year-old Eritrean patient with basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer that most often develops on areas of skin exposed to the sun, such as the face.

In fact, skin cancer represents one of the most common male malignancies in the UAE, with a prevalence rate of 14.5%.

Neuromonitoring is often used in complex surgeries, involving the nervous system, to assess the integrity of vital functions. The primary goal is to alert the surgeon and anesthesiologist to impending injury to allow modifications in time to prevent permanent damage. Additionally, it is sometimes used to map areas of the nervous system to guide procedural management.

The complex and unique procedure involved two surgeries – first, a 14-hour surgery to remove the tumor and repair the defect with a forearm flap. The second stage operation was a parotidectomy (removal of the parotid glands, major salivary glands) using nerve monitoring and a simultaneous bilateral neck dissection and removal of the peri-auricular tumor.

Further elaborating on the surgery, Dr. Muwaffaq Al Ani, Oral Maxillofacial Consultant, Tawam Hospital, at SEHA, said, “The patient presented with basal cell carcinoma which had spread extensively through his face. The complete resection surgery was particularly unique and complicated owing to the proximity of the tumor to his eye, brain, and facial nerve. Neuromonitoring, therefore, played a very critical role in the success of this surgery to ensure that we maintain the integrity of the facial nerve and prevent facial paralysis.”

Tawam Hospital is a JCI accredited, integrated and tertiary referral hospital encompassing major specialties and medical facilities such as ICU, ER, MRI, X-Ray, pathology, laboratory, pharmacy, specialty clinics, academic programmes hospital with highly experienced and qualified medical consultants, and characterized by an efficient appointment process and less waiting time.

Source: Emirates News Agency