SRM doctors battle a rare tumor to restore normal life of MTC driver

FPJ BureauUpdated: Tuesday, November 22, 2022, 03:02 PM IST
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Great effort by a team of doctors from SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Kattankulathur near Chennai has enabled Mahadevan (name changed) to get back to normal life. Doctors from the hospital performed surgery for 10 hours recently on Mahadevan who is employed as a driver with Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) and removed Hamartoma, a rare tumour from the throat which helped him get back to normal life.

The operation to remove the rare tumor was done free of cost as a part of a noble gesture. Hamartoma is a rare kind of tumour and only about 25 to 30 cases of it have been reported across the globe, said Col Dr A Ravikumar who led the team of doctors who operated on Mahadevan. The patient a resident of Kundrathur began witnessing a change in his voice suddenly, his breathing pattern was also not an exception, said Dr A Ravikumar.

I had a change in my voice pattern, I used to speak and there was a lack of clarity in it. Breathing pattern turned noisy, said the patient. He approached health centers at Teynampet and Ambattur, but there was no result.

The patient even tried conventional medicines (Ayurveda) with the hope to bring a change in his condition, however, the desired result was not achieved, said Mahadevan. 'That was when I approached SRM Hospital at Kattankulathur near Chennai.'

The initial analysis of the patient indicated a problem with the voice nerve and the presence of a tumour in the throat, said Dr A Ravikumar, who is also pro-vice-chancellor (medical) at SRMIST.

The team of doctors who performed the 10-hour surgery to remove the rare tumor also comprised Dr Professor G Selvarajan, Dr J Shivapriya, Dr A Grahalakshmi, Dr V Roopak Vaidhyswaran and Professor Dr B. Gayathri the head of Anaesthesiology Department at SRM Medical College.

The tumour was 2 centimeters in size and was located in the trachea (windpipe), said Dr Professor Selva Rajan. The operation was no easy task, he said and reminded it involved the neck through which the windpipe passes and that was where the tumor was located.

The patient's breathing had to be ensured it went on unhindered, said Dr Ravikumar. We made a hole in the windpipe through which we inserted a pipe and the patient was breathing comfortably.

Challenges were far from over, reaching the tumour was not easy, we had to undertake a biopsy to know whether the tumour was cancer or a normal one. An endoscope was inserted to analyze the size of the tumour. Once we came to know the tumor was not cancerous, the procedure was commenced, said Dr Selva Rajan.

The trachea where the tumor was located is in proximity to the food pipe, so we had to exert great caution to ensure, the food pipe was not damaged. Food pipe is sensitive and a rupture of any sort to it can damage them.

Through a careful surgical process, the windpipe was dissected from the patient and re-attached. The patient has recovered quickly after the surgery and is able to speak with distinct clarity which was not the case before the operation.

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