The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Reconstruct route charted in urology

For 30 years, Subhasish Mishra (name changed) had to bear with the pain of passing urine through a catheter and having a hole in his abdomen. His life changed on Saturday, after he underwent reconstructive surgery.

Many others, like Mishra, will now be able to benefit from the advanced technique of reconstructive surgery. Around 100 delegates, including departmental heads of state-run hospitals, eminent medical practitioners and junior doctors, watched the operation live at a workshop.

Several of the 2,800-odd patients flocking to urology departments of government hospitals, and another 2,000 opting for private hospitals every year, have sustained some damage to the urinary tract, which needs reconstruction. The new technique, known as Buccal Mucosa, using tissue from the mouth or lining of the cheek to reconstruct the urinary passage, was demonstrated during the workshop. “The technique is new, and we can use it in state-run hospitals,” said Dilip Karmakar, head of urology unit, Calcutta National Medical College.

Karmakar said the urology department has more than 400 patients every month. “There are patients with damaged urinary tracts, who cannot afford to visit private hospitals, as the surgeries are quite expensive. So, if we are able to perform reconstructive surgeries at our hospital, it will help people.”

“With road accidents on the rise, cases of fractured pelvis with damage to the urinary tract are also increasing,” says Shivaji Basu, chief urologist of Wockhardt Hospital and Kidney Institute. The hospital organised a two-day live, interactive operating workshop on lower tract reconstructive surgery in association with the Urological Society of India (east zone chapter).

Every month, of about 2,000 victims of accidents on the city streets, around 700 to 800 sustain serious injuries to their urinary tract, requiring reconstruction at some stage. According to Basu, the situation was bleak five years ago, as patients with chronic and complex problems of the urinary passage, like urinary incontinence, urethral stricture disease and bladder dysfunction, suffered for years due to a lack of permanent cures. Reconstruction is an attempt at restoration of normal shape and function of these damaged organs.

“Now, awareness among patients is increasing and we are confident about the new techniques,” he continued, adding that such workshops helped in developing knowledge-based infrastructures.

Sanjay Kulkarni, director, Hitech Urology Institute, Pune, Mahendra Bhandari, director of SGPGI, Lucknow, and Arunava Chowdhury, a city-based urologist, operated simultaneously in two separate operation theatres at Wockhardt Hospital, and then addressed the queries of those watching the procedures.

Eleven patients were operated on during the two-day workshop, each of two-and-half-hours duration. A urethroplasty, construction of the urethra, was also performed.

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