The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pancreas surgery feat claim

Calcutta, March 28: Patients suffering from serious pancreas malfunctioning and marked for surgery will no longer have to undergo the painful procedure and post-operative complications, with Wockhardt Hospital & Kidney Institute claiming to have successfully conducted the Laparoscopic Pancreatico-Gastrostomy (LPG) surgery on a patient.

“This method will be helpful to patients in Bengal as, even today, there are few centres tackling the entire gamut of pancreatic surgeries,” consultant laparoscopic surgeon of the institute B. Ramana said today. A team of surgeons led by Ramana had conducted the surgery.

Surgeons outside the hospital also praised the effort. “It is not commonly done because it needs a lot of technical expertise. It is done in selective centres across the world,” Rosina Ahmed, consultant surgeon in West Bank Hospital, said. “It is definitely creditable,” said Tapanjyoti Bannerjee, laparoscopic and paediatric surgeon.

However, there are those who differ. Om Tantia, director of Institute of Laparoscopic Surgery, said the process of LPG was not followed worldwide.

“There are two kinds of operations for pancreatic stone: one is LPG and the other is Laparoscopic Pancreatico Jejunostomy. LPG is not recommended as the pancreatic juice is supposed to go into the small bowel and not into the stomach, which is the case in LPG,” Tantia said. “But some people opt for LPG as it is a simpler procedure,” he added.

According to Tantia, LPJ is followed everywhere. “We have largest series of LPJ in the country and have done 17 cases. Our paper has already been accepted in international conference,” he said. C. Palanivelu did the first one in the country (at Gem Hospitals, Coimbatore), Tantia said.

However, Ramana claims that although LPJ is being routinely performed, LPG is a pioneering surgery with immense benefits for the patients. "Pancreatic surgery, extremely complex and difficult, is traditionally treated by open surgery. But with the laparoscopic technique, the whole process is much less complicated," he said.

“In India, chronic pancreatitis is a routine problem and many of these patients require open surgery, which is high-risk. The laparoscopic technique will certainly reduce the risk, help these patients recover and return back to active life faster,” Ramana said.

The particular patient, hospital sources said, came to the clinic with recurrent attacks of upper abdominal pain and was diagonised as having chronic pancreatitis.He required to undergo an open surgery but doctors at Wockhardt decided to perform the surgery through laparoscopic technique.

Ramana said that the patient started taking liquids through mouth from the next day the surgery was conducted. “He had zero pancreatic leak—the most troublesome part after surgery—as our stitching line of pancreas and stomach was leak-proof. The patient also had negligible pain and was on normal diet from next day,” he added.

WHKI officials said since the patient had to stay on bed for much less period than required for open surgery,the cost automatically came down. The first surgery was conducted for a package price of Rs 30,000, the officials informed.

Rupali Basu, general manager, Wockhardt Hospitals, Calcutta, said more patients are approaching the hospital for laporoscopic surgery. Some have already being evaluated for surgery, Basu informed.

“Minimally invasive technology is changing the scope of management across all specialities. We aim to specifically bring the advancement in the area of urology and gastroenterology,” Basu said.

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