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Iraqi patient with rare genetic disorder gets new lease of life in India

ANI | Updated on: Friday, May 31, 2019, 03:26 PM IST

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Gurgaon: Doctors at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon gave a new lease of life to a 27-year-old Iraqi woman recently.

The patient was suffering from a rare genetic condition in which several vital body organs exist in duplicate. A team of four doctors led by Dr Sanjay Gogoi, Director, Urology and Renal transplant, carried out the rare and extremely complicated seven-hour surgical procedure last month.

When she came to Fortis Memorial, Gurgaon for treatment, the team did not expect the fairly fit, fair and smiling 27-year-old to be waging a daily battle with life.

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However, after examining her and running a battery of tests and scans, doctors at FMRI found that several of her internal organs were present in duplicate. She had two urinary bladders with two urethras, two uterus, two vaginas and two small and large intestines. One of the colons in her body was opening in between the vaginas. This opening also resulted in fecal incontinence, causing great physical discomfort and repeated infections.

The patient was diagnosed as having caudal duplication syndrome, which is prevalent at birth in less than 1 per 100,000 cases. With only about 30 cases reported worldwide so far, the disorder is associated with partial or complete duplication of the spine and some other caudal structures such as urogenital and gastrointestinal tracts.

A management student in Baghdad, the patient had adapted to a strict lifestyle in order to pursue her dreams. As she had no control on her second colon, she wore diapers all the time and ate sparingly. She had gone to several hospitals in Turkey and Germany for treatment, however due to risks of surgical complications, doctors had denied operating on her. In India, at Fortis, she underwent comprehensive radiological and endoscopic evaluation, following which a reconstructive surgery was conducted. The patient, thereafter, made a full recovery without any complications after all these years of misery.

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“It was a difficult case, where genitoplasty and colocolonic anastomosis were performed on the woman through the 7-hour-long surgery. We were able to establish a connection between the two large intestines and completely remove the ‘vaginal-colon’. External and internal genitalia were reconstructed and her reproductive organs were saved, even enabling her to bear children in future. A multidisciplinary approach and modern urological reconstructive techniques allowed us to undertake such complex reconstructions, previously thought not possible”, said Dr Sanjay Gogoi.

“FMRI has pioneered several complex surgeries over the years. This was one of the most difficult and challenging cases for our team. The fact that it gave a new life to a patient from across the continent is most rewarding and provides hope to numerous patients in other countries to get the best in world class treatments at Fortis hospitals in India,” said Dr Simmardeep Singh Gill, Zonal Director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.

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Published on: Friday, May 13, 2016, 04:55 PM IST