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Gohary’s disease offers a major breakthrough in explaining cases of severe abdominal pain in young children



Emergency rooms across the UAE regularly receive young children as patients suffering from symptoms of severe abdominal pain or colic. These are often linked tointussusception, one of the most common abdominal emergencies affecting children under the age of two. This condition causes a part of the intestine to fold into another much like a collapsible telescope, causing a blockage in the intestine. However, after observing young patients with similar symptoms over a period of five years, Prof. Dr. Amin El-Gohary,Consultant – Pediatric Surgery, Burjeel Abu Dhabi Hospital, discovered the growing incidence of a new phenomenon that is consistent with severe colic mimicking signs of intussusception.

Prof. Dr. Gohary, who published his findings in the prestigious British Medical Journal, is attributed with identifying this condition, now called Gohary’s disease. Commenting on the symptoms of the disease, he said, “Children suffering from this condition present with sudden acute severe abdominal colic during which the child is continuously screaming for couple of minutes, with the pain ending suddenly. This pain is recurrent and does not respond to analgesics or pain killers. When Doctors perform an ultrasound on these children, it would reveal an image identical to intussusception. Other laboratory and radiological tests are also misleading as they confirm the wrong diagnosis of intussusception which would lead to unnecessary surgery.

However the real cause for such severe pain is linked to fecal matter blocking terminal small bowel and of the beginning of the large intestine.

Based on his findings, Prof. Dr. Gohary advises that in the instance of Gohary’s disease children should be treated with fleet enemas. Fleet enemas are laxatives that will help dislodge the stool that is causing the obstruction.

Prof. Dr Gohary’s findings are extremely important as they avoid unnecessary investigations and/or surgical intervention in young patients due to misdiagnosis. “Children undergoing such excruciating pain need to get the right diagnosis so as to receive the appropriate treatment to treat both the pain and the underlying cause. I have spent a long time studying the condition, its symptoms and the best treatment modalities,” he emphasized.

Gohary’s disease is a new discovery that has not been discussed before in medical journals. It was named after the Doctor who discovered it.

Clancey Po, CEO of Burjeel Hospital, also commented on the importance of identifying the condition and its treatment. “We are very pleased have respected experts such as Prof. Dr Gohary as part of Burjeel Hospital’s exemplary team of medical professionals.  We offer the best diagnostic tools and treatment options to deal with pediatric conditions such as Gohary’s disease. We are working towards making Burjeel Hospital the first choice for healthcare in the UAE and the region, and will continue to serve the community by providing state-of-the-art healthcare in a top notch environment.”


Photo credit: Lauren Grace Picture Place via / CC BY-NC


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