Newborn child with Sturge Weber Glaucoma Saved from Permanent Eye Damage through Timely operations

June 6, 2019

A newborn child was diagnosed with Sturge Weber Syndrome – a rare inherited condition impacting 1 in every 50,000 newborns – by the doctors at Thumbay Hospital Ajman and successfully underwent 2 procedures each in both their eyes

A 7-day-old newborn child with Sturge Weber Syndrome underwent multiple eye procedures at Thumbay Hospital – Ajman, to escape lasting eye problems. The procedures were carried out by a team led by Dr. Ahmed Atef Abdelhamid Shabana, Specialist – Ophthalmology.

A rare condition believed to affect 1 in 50,000 newborns, Sturge Weber Syndrome’s precise cause is not really known, but it is associated to gene mutation. It usually causes dermatological effects such as a mark of the face usually referred to port wine stain, neurological effects commonly in the form of seizures and eye condition commonly linked to glaucoma.

The one week old baby’s state was first detected by doctors of Thumbay Hospital’s NICU, who informed Dr. Ahmed as soon as they detected clouding of the cornea, with symptoms indicating Sturge Weber Syndrome.

Comprehensive examinations revealed that the child had stains on both sides of the face and their body, not a standard symptom of Sturge Weber Syndrome. What was even more alarming was that both the eyes of the child had elevated pressure inside, leading to clouding of the eye. This too wasn’t like the standard glaucoma that comes with Sturge Weber, usually impacting just one eye.

After discussions with the pediatric neonatologist and the clinical neurology experts, and after carrying out all the necessary research to confirm the diagnosis, the staff led by Dr. Ahmed decided to examine the newborn under general anesthesia to identify the precise pressure and the degree of glaucoma. At the same time, the mom and dad were counseled and well informed that if the examinations revealed manifestations of glaucoma, surgery might be carried out to treat it and to try and maintain as much eyesight as possible, as waiting without taking action might result in severe impairment of the newborn’s eyesight.