Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Performs Innovative New Procedure for Digestive Disease


The GCC’s First ‘POP’ Procedures Alleviate Chronic Symptoms for Sufferers of Gastroparesis  

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 19, 2017Physicians at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi have performed the region’s first “POP” procedures, an innovative technique that can alleviate the debilitating symptoms of gastroparesis, a chronic digestive disease.

The non-surgical technique, known as Per Oral Pyloromytomy (POP), is based on techniques pioneered in Japan and is now available at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, where four UAE National patients have already undergone the procedure this year.

Gastroparesis, which is also known as delayed gastric emptying or “paralyzed stomach”, is a disease that prevents a patient’s stomach from digesting food and emptying properly. Sufferers experience a range of debilitating symptoms, such as severe nausea, vomiting, heartburn, extreme weight loss, bloating and acid reflux.

While diabetes is one of the main causes of gastroparesis, other illnesses can also cause the disease, such as chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, kidney disease, Turner’s syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. In some cases, the cause is unknown and can also occur after previous surgical procedures on the stomach.

“Gastroparesis affects millions of people around the world,” said Dr. Matthew Kroh, chief of the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. “In terms of incidence, it is one of the fastest-growing diseases that we are currently treating in the Institute and, with more than one million people suffering from diabetes in the UAE, gastroparesis is a looming disease burden in the future.”

The POP procedure allows physicians to cut the pylorus – the muscular valve that empties the stomach – without surgery. The procedure is performed through the mouth using advanced endoscopic tools and under high-definition vision, which lessens the risk of complications and eliminates the trauma of open surgery.

A 35-year-old male patient suffering from cerebral palsy, a birth-related disorder that affects the brain and nervous system, and multiple medical problems underwent the POP procedure earlier this year, while two patients were women in their 50s suffering from Type 2 diabetes. All four were referred to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi by the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, part of Mubadala’s network of world-class healthcare providers.

“To be able to manage the full spectrum of care for the three UAE National patients who have suffered with gastroparesis is very rewarding. Giving these patients the support and treatment they really need – and watching them steadily improve – makes it all worthwhile,” concluded Dr. Kroh.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Digestive Disease Institute leads the way in gastrointestinal care in the region through a range of advanced procedures. These include minimally invasive and robotic bariatric, hernia, gastrointestinal, and colorectal surgeries, as well the treatment of pancreatic, liver, and biliary diseases.

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