For 58-year-old Prasanta Das Gupta, the agony and embarrassment had become unbearable. After running from pillar to post in search of a cure to his “painless, yet extremely distressing” ailment, he had even opted for VRS, with just two years for his tenure at the Uco Bank Dalhousie headquarters to run out.
Das Gupta had been passing blood in his urine for two years and doctors didn’t have a clue to the source of the bleed. His physician in Nabapalli, Barasat, asked him to seek specialist opinion and suggested the name of Shivaji Basu, chief urologist, Wockhardt Hospital & Kidney Institute.
The bank employee landed up at the Rashbehari Avenue super-speciality centre, where a battery of tests, including intravenous pyelography (IVP), ultrasound, CT and MRI scan of the kidneys and several seistoscopies was carried out. But all reports came negative and the presumptive diagnosis was ‘congenital vein malfunction’.
The MR angiogram of the kidneys also showed no abnormality, even as the bleeds continued three to four times a day. “We told him to come to us on the day of the bleeding. He did so, but unfortunately, the seistoscopy showed nothing,” recounts Basu. “On the second day, however, a gush of blood from the right kidney was seen. We immediately knew where the problem lay.”
The doctors then used a superspeciality diagnostic tool — the uretero-renoscope — that shows both the kidney and the bladder in sharp focus, to pinpoint the origin of the bleed. A lesion was found in the right kidney, which was bleeding. “We did a laparoscopy on the upper part of the right kidney and found a small (four cm), but definite, tumour,” explains Basu, a renal tumour specialist.
The malignant tumour and the affected kidney were removed, and “for all practical purposes”, Das Gupta is cured. The team of six doctors, including laparoscopic urologist Amlan Chakraborty, feels rapid access to uretero-renoscopes of all sizes and to emergency surgical procedures helped crack this case.
“It's a combination of technological advancement, surgical skills and a stroke of luck which enabled us to identify the problem and deliver the therapy of choice,” the chief urologist stresses. For the same patient, a few years earlier, an empirical treatment of anti-tuberculosis therapy would have been prescribed. “I feel fine now and can perform household chores without any discomfort,” Das Gupta tells Metro from his Barasat home, relieved that his two-year ordeal is finally over.
Basu, who has removed 190 renal tumours till now, says around 80 per cent of the patients usually don’t need another surgery in future. “If there is no spread in the first two years, the tumour is unlikely to grow further,” he observes.
The speciality institute, which had introduced lithotripsy to eastern India and has been the “leader in stone management” in these parts for years, has now identified laparoscopic urology as a thrust area for research and treatment, according to general manager Rupali Basu.