First stereotactic radiosurgery performed in Qatar

February 8, 2011

The team performing the surgery

Qatar’s first stereotactic radiosurgery procedure has been carried out by the Radiation Oncology team of Al Amal Hospital under Hamad Medical Corporation.

The non-invasive surgical technique involved using a highly targeted radiotherapy to successful treat arterio-venous malformation (AVM) within the patients’ brain.

Dr Noora Al Hammadi, Chairman of Radiation Oncology Department at Al Amal Hospital, termed it a “significant advance for radiation oncology in Qatar,” The Peninsula reported.

The stereotactic radiosurgery was carried out on a 31-year-old female patient who had Arteriovenous malformation or AVM in the brain, an abnormal connection between veins and arteries and is usually congenital.

“After exploring surgical options with the neurosurgeon Dr Ghanem Al Sulaiti, Senior Consultant at HMC, it was decided that the patient was better suited to the non-invasive stereotactic procedure,” Dr Noora said. “Using state-of-the-art equipment of the Radiation Oncology Department, we delivered seven dynamic highly-focused, radiotherapy beams aimed at destroying a small arterio-venous malformation (AVM) within the patients’ brain,” she said.

According to the Radiation Oncology team, the procedure was done on an outpatient basis and the patient after one sitting is now recovering well.

The stereotactic radiosurgery causes minimal effects on surrounding tissues and organs thereby minimising complications and recovery time associated with invasive brain surgery, Dr Noora said.

“Since this single-session treatment has such a dramatic effect on the targeted tissue, changes are considered ‘surgical’ without any incision. The radiosurgery technique is an advanced procedure, which has been now made available locally at Al Amal hospital,” she said.

The ground breaking procedure was performed using the recently installed Varian Trilogy linear accelerator with a 120-leaf MLC (multileaf collimator) to enable clinicians to narrow down the beam to millimetre accuracy, thereby reducing the risk of side effects.

The stereotactic radiosurgery programme at HMC is a joint collaboration between the Departments of Radiation Oncology, Al Amal Hospital and the Neurosurgery section at Hamad General Hospital. The multidisciplinary team is led jointly by Dr Noora, Radiation Oncolog,y and Dr Al Sulaiti from Neurosurgery.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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