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Rare surgery feat for docs

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna, doctors have shown how to use limited resources best and achieve success in a major surgery.

Doctors at the surgery department recently carried out a pancreaticoduodenectomy, a critical surgery to treat cancerous tumour on the head of the pancreas, on 35-year-old Rakesh Kumar Sinha last week. The patient is recovering fast and might be released from hospital in a day or two.

For AIIMS Patna, this is a major achievement for two reasons — first, the hospital is yet to become fully functional and second, the surgery despite being major turned out to be successful.

According to AIIMS-Patna doctors, 5 per cent of patients who undergo pancreaticoduodenectomy die of post-surgery complexities. “It is a major achievement for AIIMS-Patna. Conducting a major surgery when the hospital is yet to become fully functional, is a big challenge. So it was really a difficult decision. We were definitely worried but we are happy that everything is fine now. The patient is recovering fast. He would be discharged most probably after two days,” said Manoj Kumar, associate professor, surgery department, AIIMS-Patna, who performed the surgery along with two resident doctors.

Manoj has conducted around 20 pancreaticoduodenectomies at AIIMS-Delhi and BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Nepal.

He added: “In these kinds of surgery, you need trained nurses and paramedical staff. Though AIIMS-Patna has recently got nurses, they are not acquainted with this kind of major surgery. We conducted this surgery in seven hours but with the help of trained nurses, we could have finished in five to six hours. The ICU in which we operated the patient only has basic machines. It is not fully equipped.”

Talking about the complexities of the surgery, Manoj added: “The surgery involves three important regions, including pancreas, bile duct and duodenum. All have to be stitched together. In case of any mistake, there could be heavy inner bleeding because the surgery is done near major blood vessels and if it happens, patient’s life could be at risk. So doctors have to be very careful while doing this surgery.”

On the cost factor, Manoj said: “He had to spend around Rs 25,000 on antibiotics and instruments like surgical stapler among others. AIIMS-Patna would soon issue a tender for selecting a firm to provide these things at minimum cost. In private hospitals, one has to shell out around Rs 3 lakh for this surgery.”

Rakesh Kumar Sinha, a patient who underwent the surgery at AIIMS-Patna, said: “Doctors here have given me a new lease of life,” said Sinha.