UAE doctors successfully perform a complex total thyroidectomy surgery on 87-year-old

UAE's Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) has successfully performed a total thyroidectomy surgery (removing the entire thyroid gland) on an elderly patient.

UAE’s Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) has successfully performed a total thyroidectomy surgery (removing the entire thyroid gland) on an elderly patient.

The surgery had a considerable risk for elderly patients as they are more potential to suffer from heart, lung and infectious complications after a thyroidectomy.


Hasmik Dawood, aged 87, had found it difficult to find doctors who would treat her because of the risk involved relating to her condition, age and the critical nature of the surgery.

At SKMC, she showed progressive symptoms of difficulty in terms of breathing and swallowing because of her large goitre (an abnormally large thyroid gland). Her condition was continuously deteriorating, and when presented at SKMC, she could not eat solid food.

She was made through proper body scans, including a neck CT scan that disclosed an enlarged thyroid gland extending down into the chest with most of the pressure on food and windpipes causing difficulty in breathing and swallowing.

Moreover, the gland also touches the heart as well as the aorta, the main artery that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to other body parts.

While further elaborating the case, an otolaryngology surgeon at SKMC, Dr Mohamed Al Ali, said, “While the risk of a total thyroidectomy is much higher in the elderly, quality care and expertise in such surgeries open this treatment route for such patients.”

“Following the diagnosis, the patient was instantly referred to cardiac management, and the neck surgery was delayed by three weeks. At SKMC, we ensure that patients undergo comprehensive examination before surgery to diagnose such hidden complications in time. The key to success in this type of surgery often lies in perioperative care.”


After a successful total thyroidectomy by the expert Head and Neck surgery team in support of the SKMC’s experienced cardiac anaesthesia team, Hasmik was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for three days of close monitoring. She was discharged after eight days of operation with no symptoms.

Tariq Saeed

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