A TODDLER who was violently sick almost every hour of the day for the first 18 months of her life has been cured of her illness after specialist surgeons performed the UK’s first scarless operation on a child with her condition.
Leah Hamid, now aged two, needed the three hour operation by surgeons at Sheffield Children’s Hospital after she was born with a rare condition which stopped her being able to eat and made her sick up to 20 times a day.
The procedure, which allowed surgeons to enter Leah’s body by a flexible telescope through her mouth and into her stomach and intestine, left no scar or sign of surgery.
Leah’s mum, Amanda Hamid, aged 32, who lives in Manor Park, said: “Leah was like a different child after the operation, she recovered straight away and wasn’t sick. “When she slept through the night for the first time since she had been born I almost cried, my body naturally woke me up throughout the night to check on her and when I found her fast asleep it was amazing. I was so happy my baby was finally better.”
Leah’s condition, duodenal stenosis ,which affects one in 6,000 babies, stops food being digested and causes chronic sickness. In the past it has been treated by an invasive operation, which leaves scarring.
Scarless surgery is relatively new and used for a variety of procedures in both adult and child surgery. They can be done in different ways including incision through the belly button, but this operation was done using state-of-the-art operating apparatus through the mouth.
Sean Marven, consultant paediatric surgeon at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, who did the operation with Dr Mike Thomson, said: “I believe this procedure has never been performed on a child with this condition in the UK before due to the rare specialist skills and equipment it requires.
“I decided the procedure was possible as my colleague is a rare paediatric endoscopist who has the skills to perform the procedure, and because we possess the specialist equipment needed, including a double channel operating endoscope, which cost £64,000, and was funded by The Children’s Hospital Charity.
“The operation was a complete success, Leah was in much less pain and had a quicker recovery. If it had been done the regular way it would have left a big scar. We don’t expect her to have any problems later in life.”
Mr Marven and Dr Thomson, also a consultant paediatric surgeon, snipped holes in the membrane covering the first part of her small intestine connecting her stomach to her digestive system using a balloon and electrical knife.
Leah’s mum, who also has five other children, Ashley 17, Adam 15, Alisha 11, Callum, six ,and Cayden 18 months, said: “We are so grateful for the help the surgeons have given not only to Leah and me but to my husband and all our children.
“Now Leah is living a normal life we have much more time to spend as a family and I can concentrate on all my children equally.”