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Breakthrough Robotic Surgery Offers Hope for Rare VTOS Condition

CCAD created medical history by performing a pioneering robotic rib excision and venolysis treatment to treat VTOS.

Doctors at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD) have made medical history by conducting a groundbreaking robotic rib resection and analysis procedure to address Venous Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (VTOS), a rare condition affecting a limited number of individuals.

VTOS involves the compression of the subclavian vein, which is responsible for transporting blood from the arm to the heart. 

This condition often remains undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and tends to affect active individuals engaged in repetitive arm movements, such as athletes, cross-fit trainers, and those with occupations involving frequent arm and shoulder motions.

Innovative Minimally Invasive Technique:

Traditionally performed through a large chest incision, the pioneering robotic procedure at CCAD utilized three small incisions on the patient’s back to remove the problematic section of the first rib, causing vein compression. 

This minimally invasive approach resulted in no visible scarring and minimal discomfort for the patient, ensuring a swift recovery with just a two-night hospital stay.

Symptoms of VTOS, often overlooked, include arm pain, swelling, discoloration, and limb heaviness, along with risks like recurrent venous thrombosis. Dr. Houssam Younes from CCAD stressed the significance of early intervention within 14 days of symptom onset for a higher likelihood of successful treatment.

Enhanced Recovery and Outcomes:

Dr. Usman Ahmad, department chair of thoracic surgery at CCAD, emphasized that the innovative robotic technique ensures precision in treatment and accelerates recovery for VTOS patients, showcasing improved outcomes compared to conventional surgical approaches.

Addressing Risks and Encouraging Timely Intervention:

Dr. Ahmad underscored the risks associated with untreated VTOS, which can lead to severe complications like blood clot formation and potential pulmonary embolism. 

He advised individuals engaged in regular exercise to remain vigilant for VTOS symptoms and seek immediate medical attention to prevent complications.

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