(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) From the time she was an infant, Asar Ismail has had a different anatomy altogether.
Born with a rare condition called Situs Inversus, all her body organs are located in the 'reverse' side, compared to a normal anatomy. For example, her heart is in the right side of her body instead of the left. The liver and the gallbladder are on the left side instead of the right.
This condition happens to every 1 out of 10,000 of the normal population.
However, and thankfully, it has no impact on the health of the individual in most of the cases and no treatment is required. But it poses certain challenges with regards to accessing the different organs, if surgical treatment is required.
When Asar began experiencing chronic pains in the gall bladder, she visited a number of hospitals and clinics. The doctors told her it was due to both chronic inflammation of the bladder and big stones in it.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Asar said: "I faced several difficulties when I decided to have my gallbladder removed, as advised by the doctors. I visited two surgeons and they informed me that my case is critical due to the situs inversus. I was turned down as they were reluctant to do the operation, citing increased risks and operating difficulty."
Finally, Medcare Hospital Sharjah assessed her and her operation was carefully planned to deal with her unusual body anatomy.
The operation was performed smoothly and without complications in 40 minutes.
"She went home the next day as planned and is comfortable continuing with her normal life without any restriction on her mobility or food intake. She was reviewed as per our routine, twice after the operation and her skin closure staples were removed in the second visit, a week after her surgery," Dr Souka added.
Advising such patients, Dr Souka said: "When such patients have a surgery, they need to have their operation at a hospital with a high volume of workload, where the staff are familiar and perform the procedure frequently. This gives a high level of competence and ensures minimal chances of complications."
Talking about the challenges faced by a surgeon in the clinical setting of undiagnosed situs inversus, Dr Ananth Pai Kalsank, specialist in general surgery at NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi, said: "In a typical ER room situation where time is the key, if a patient reports an acute pain in the left hand side, we suspect the colon or kidney. If the patient has his or her organs on the reverse side, then the whole line of initial assessment could change, putting the patient at grave risk. This is because most of the organs in the abdomen - liver, gall bladder and pancreas, are on the right hand side."
Dr Souka concluded: "The doctors have to be aware of the situation and plan to deliver the treatment without complications."
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