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Clear vision for our children: Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and Healthpoint jointly perform the first complex infantile glaucoma procedures in Abu Dhabi

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and Healthpoint, both part of Mubadala’s network of world-class healthcare providers, performed two landmark surgeries in the field of pediatric eye care for the first time in Abu Dhabi, marking the beginning of a new era in ophthalmologic healthcare for the children of the nation. The influx of leading ophthalmology experts at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Eye Institute, together with Healthpoint’s specialization and expertise in pediatric care, has enabled surgical treatment of a complex case of infantile glaucoma, a clinical first in Abu Dhabi, as well as surgical correction of the complex case of misaligned eyes (strabismus).

The first surgical procedure involved glaucoma valve implantation in the affected eye of a 7-month-old Emirati patient suffering from an advanced secondary form of infantile glaucoma. The second procedure involved combined horizontal and vertical extraocular muscle surgery in both eyes of a 4-year-old Emirati patient with misaligned eyes since infancy.

Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve from increased eye pressure. Complex infantile forms are relatively more common on the Arabian Peninsula than in other regions of the world, due to a higher incidence of genetic mutation. The incidence of primary infantile glaucoma is estimated to be one in 10,000 to 20,000 in Western countries, while in the Gulf region it is approximately four times higher at one in 2,500. , Infantile forms that are not successfully treated during infancy result in permanent irreversible eye damage and blindness.

Strabismus, or misaligned eyes, occurs in up to 4% of the population. The more common form is horizontal, which is also more straightforward to treat. Combined horizontal and vertical forms are less common and require a more advanced surgical approach. If not treated during childhood, binocular vision (the ability to focus with both eyes together) does not develop normally.

Both surgical procedures were performed by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Dr. Arif O. Khan, Staff Physician, Pediatric Ophthalmology, Eye Institute, in partnership with Healthpoint’s team of pediatric experts, including pediatric general practitioners and anesthesiologists who provide specialized post-operative care for children. The combined care from both facilities permitted successful treatment as well as smooth recovery for both patients.

“Young Emirati children with complex glaucoma or strabismus have in the past been sent overseas for their care; however, they now can receive state-of-the-art treatment in the comfort their home environment. In fact, we are increasingly treating children referred from surrounding countries for ophthalmic care. At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi we are excited to offer the specialized expertise and advanced technology to treat complex cases in very young children and to collaborate with Healthpoint when surgery is required”, said Dr. Rakesh Suri, Chief of Staff and Chief of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

“Pediatrics is a key specialism at Healthpoint and we have the facilities, resources and services needed to serve children’s treatment needs without the need for them to travel overseas. We are constantly working toward filling the gaps in the market and expanding our pediatric capabilities. We are happy to grow our service offering by sharing our specialist facilities and collaborating with Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi to provide new treatment options to patients,” said Dr. Nader Darwich, Medical Director, Healthpoint.

“Modern healthcare demands new, multi-specialty solutions and innovative thinking. The positive results of these two surgeries are a testament to the comprehensive care offered by Mubadala’s network of healthcare providers for the people of the UAE and signifies a leap forward toward the UAE’s vision of providing exceptional healthcare to our residents”, commented Suhail Al Ansari, Executive Director of Mubadala Healthcare, Vice Chairman of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Healthpoint. “It is a dawn of a new age in the field of pediatric eye care, where expert collaboration across our network between eye and children specialists is allowing the treatment of complex conditions such as pediatric glaucoma within the country, become a reality within one seamless patient experience that is leading to improved outcomes.

About Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala’s network of world-class healthcare providers, is a multispecialty hospital on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is a unique and unparalleled extension of US-based Cleveland Clinic’s model of care, specifically designed to address a range of complex and critical care requirements unique to the Abu Dhabi population. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has five Centres of Excellence in the following Institutes: Heart & Vascular, Neurological, Digestive Disease, Eye, and Respiratory & Critical Care. Other Institutes include Surgical Subspecialties, Medical Subspecialties, Emergency Medicine, Anaesthesiology, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Imaging, and Quality & Patient Safety. In all, more than 30 medical and surgical specialties are represented at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

The facilities at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi combine state-of-the-art amenities and world-class service standards. The hospital is a 364 (expandable to 490) bed facility, with five clinical floors, three diagnostic and treatment levels, and 13 floors of critical and acute inpatient units. It is a physician-led medical facility served by North American/European Board Certified (or equivalent) physicians. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides patients in the region direct access to the world’s best healthcare providers and Cleveland Clinic’s unique model of care, reducing their need to travel abroad for treatment. Visit us at

About Healthpoint:

Healthpoint, part of Mubadala’s network of world-class healthcare providers, is a super-specialty integrated practice hospital located in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi. Healthpoint is home to four centers of clinical excellence: Abu Dhabi Knee & Sports Medicine Centre, Wooridul Spine Centre, the Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery Centre, and the Plastic & Cosmetics Surgery Centre, as part of 21 clinical services covering a wide range of patient and community care, including pediatrics, dentistry and gynecology.

Serving the community since 2013, Healthpoint’s highly specialized medical experts and state-of-the-art facilities provide patients with full-cycle care – inpatient, out-patient and rehabilitative– that addresses the patients’ physical condition, as well as respecting their lifestyle, culture and overall wellbeing, to ensure that every patient is offered personalized care in a boutique, technologically-advanced environment.

Healthpoint is a public healthcare facility with a compassionate and dedicated team that offers accessible healthcare to everyone. Healthpoint is committed to providing quality care and education to empower patients and communities and give them the tools they need to lead healthier and happier lives.

To learn more about Healthpoint, visit

About Mubadala Healthcare

Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala) is a catalyst for the economic diversification of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The company’s commercial strategy is built on the management of long-term, capital-intensive investments that deliver not only strong financial returns but tangible social benefits for the people of Abu Dhabi. In doing so, Mubadala is expanding the economic base of the Emirate and in turn, significantly contributing to the growth and diversification of the Abu Dhabi economy.

Mubadala is helping to address the region’s most pressing healthcare needs through the creation of specialist, world-class healthcare facilities to build regional capability and stimulate the overall development of the sector. Mubadala’s healthcare portfolio includes a range of providers, which together, address the complete continuum of care from diagnosis to management and treatment of acute and complex conditions.