The network’s Group Practice Model made it possible for both patients to receive seamless, expert healthcare services across two different facilities
Abu Dhabi, 27 June 2021: Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, (SEHA), the UAE’s largest healthcare network, successfully treated two patients diagnosed with Lymphedema. Lymphedema is the swelling that generally occurs in the arms or legs caused by the removal of or damage to lymph nodes as part of cancer treatment.
In these instances, a blockage occurs in the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and the fluid buildup leads to the swelling.
Both patients, Fatima Al Kaabi and Asma Saleh share similar medical history, having undergone chemotherapy and surgery to cure breast cancer. Fatima underwent a mastectomy surgery in 2008 the first operation was in India she had a partial mastectomy, after that she took chemotherapy and radiation, then in 2014 it retrain to her so she did a complete mastectomy in Singapore without using chemotherapy and radiation., while Asma completed a double mastectomy procedure in 2010.
As a result of their respective procedures, Fatima and Asma were diagnosed with Lymphedema in their arms, hampering hand movement and causing severe pain and swelling.
Diagnosed at Al Ain - part of the SEHA network, Fatima and Asma were transferred to their respective facility’s Physiotherapy Department. The physiotherapy teams derived appropriate treatment plans, including evidence-based treatments like 1. Manual lymph drainage 2. Manual bandaging 3. Lymphedema exercises 4. Pneumatic Compression pump Machine 5. Pressure garment.
Dr. Sumaya Al Hammadi,Manager of Rehabilitation Services, Tawam Hospital, and the therapist who led the treatment strategies for both Fatima and Asma, said: “Lymphedema is a common occurrence for cancer patients following surgery, however Fatima and Asma both serve as testament that with the appropriate medical procedure and management, the condition can easily be stopped from progressing and even cured, allowing patients to regain full mobility and return to normal function of day-to-day tasks.
“When deriving the right solution for patients with lymphedema, it is important to coordinate regularly with the patients’ medical teams, and make sure the treatment plan fits with the patient’s lifestyle. Thanks to the multidisciplinary approach adopted throughout the SEHA network, we were able to quickly and expertly care for Fatima and Asma, both of whom have now been cured of the condition.”
SEHA’s Group Practice Model ensured that both patients received world-class care from Dr. Al Hammadi, who is also a certified lymphatic therapist, caring for all lymphedema patients at Tawam Hospital since 2014. She is currently in the process of conducting research on patients diagnosed with Lymphedema to derive appropriate preventative and treatment methods and ensure data-based best-practice.
Fatima Al Kaabi said: “I extend my gratitude to the UAE’s leadership and the SEHA network, who spare no effort in providing citizens and residents with world-class healthcare. Thanks to the holistic efforts of the medical and physiotherapy teams at Tawam Hospital, I have now regained movement in my arm and today live a normal life.”
Asma Saleh, said: “I am so very thankful for the expertise available in both Tawam Hospital and Al Ain Hospital and their ability to work together so seamlessly to care for my condition with the utmost compassion and dedication”.
The physiotherapy departments and services available throughout the SEHA network have helped countless lymphedema patients recuperate with the use of patient education, compression techniques, intermittent pneumatic compression, manual lymphatic drainage/self-lymphatic drainage, skincare, therapeutic exercises, and in some cases, kinesio taping and low-level laser therapy.