Dr. Saad Saad, From Refugee to an Accomplished Pediatric Surgeon

Dr. Saad Saad had a long and successful 47-year career as a pediatric surgeon in which he served his community by operating on thousands of children who required surgery. Before retiring, Dr. Saad Saad enjoyed holding the position of co-director and surgeon-in-chief of K Hovnanian Children Hospital.

Although he was born in Palestine in the late 1940s, the creation of the country of Israel reduced his status to that of a refugee. As was the case with so many other native Palestinians, his family was forced to relocate and seek a home in a foreign country. Dr. Saad Saad’s family became refugees living in the country of Kuwait.

In Kuwait, two fateful events served to raise him from his status as a refugee to a pediatric surgeon. First, while in elementary school, Dr. Saad Saad’s father taught him that a high level of education is a must if he wants to be respected by people.

Second, a faithful heatstroke convinced Dr. Saad Saad not to pursue a career working as a laborer outdoor but rather find one that would offer him an air-conditioned environment in which to work. In view of the fact that air conditioners were installed in emergency rooms, Dr. Saad Saad resolved to becoming a pediatric surgeon. Learn more about Dr. Saad Saad: https://doctor.webmd.com/doctor/saad-saad-md-3d5f8ce5-a764-4c86-b201-e50ec51cd7f2-overview

Thus, Dr. Saad Saad attended Cairo University in Egypt to study medicine and acquire a medical degree, and he graduated therefrom with honors ranking second in his class. Dr. Saad Saad eventually immigrated to the United States to enter a residency program in pediatric surgery.

After completion thereof, Dr. Saad Saad distinguish himself further in becoming a United States Board Certified Pediatric Surgeon. This rarified accomplishment added to his capacity to speak fluently both English and Arab made it possible for him to obtain the enviable position of pediatric surgeon to the children of the Saudi royal family in the 1980’s.

Doctor Saad Saad’s contributions to pediatric surgery includes making it easier and safer for doctors to perform procedures on children; he developed several new procedures. One such procedure eliminated the necessity of performing a previously required second incision but produced the same result.

This new procedure not only spared a second incision for over two thousand children but also precluded the possibility of complication that may have resulted had the second incision not have been eliminated. Besides developing new procedures, Dr. Saad Saad also conceived of two enhancement to existent medical devices.

The first enhancement was made to the endoscope, which was an instrument used by Dr. Saad Saad in the detection of foreign objects blocking the trachea or esophagus of a child. This enhanced endoscope has a suction device to suck bodily fluids so as to prevent instrument from becoming fogged-up, which would require it to be taken out for cleaning. The result of Dr. Saad Saad’s enhanced endoscope is that a great deal of time is saved during pediatric surgery. Read more: Life Lessons from Dr. Saad Saad, Pediatric Surgeon and When a Child Swallows a Foreign Object – Advice by Dr. Saad Saad

The second enhancement was made to the catheter. Dr. Saad Saad’s enhanced catheter has a built-in electromagnetic location device to allow its detection by doctors with a hand-held device, thereby eliminating the need for harmful X-rays and MRIs which included unwieldy MRI machines. Dr. Saad Saad used his enhanced endoscope to help children at the K Hovnanian Children Hospital, where he was the co-director and surgeon-in-chief, before retiring.