By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 31 Dec: Three years ago, when Gudiya (name changed) was born, there were no celebrations in the family. The reason was she had no food pipe (esophagus) and, therefore, she could not be fed milk. She even could not swallow her saliva. Medical jargon calls this condition ‘Esophageal Atresia’. Her family immediately brought her to Himalayan Hospital, Jolly Grant. There was a real risk of her developing pneumonia as well, as her saliva could go into her lungs. She was therefore operated on immediately. In the neck, a passage was made for her saliva to come out, while a thin tube was put inside her stomach by another operation at the same time. This was used to give her milk and medications and, later on, other nutrition. Preparations for the definitive surgery began after she had her first birthday. Nutrition was very crucial as she had to have a minimum weight for a successful surgery.
At 3, the family came for definitive surgery. Her new food pipe was to be made. This is called ‘esophageal replacement’. Pediatric Surgeon Dr Santosh Kumar and his team carried out the procedure. Lasting more than six hours, the procedure used her stomach to make the new food pipe (gastric pull-up). This was then connected to the passage for saliva in the neck. A thin tube was also put in the small intestine for her nutrition while the newly created passage heals adequately.
After more than two months of surgery, she can now eat and drink like any other child, and is doing well. The family is happy, and so are the doctors.
The team included, other than the chief operating surgeon Dr Santosh Kumar, Dr Aisha, Dr Sahil, Dr Nitika, Dr Gurjeet Khurana, Dr Parul, and Dr Milind. Nursing staff Madhavi, Ranjana, Asha, Himani, and Naveen also supported in the procedure.
Dr Romil Bhatkoti, Head, Media & Publicity Department of the Hospital, said that the Pediatric Surgical Department is well equipped to carry out different kinds of complex operations in newborns and children, and such procedures are being done here routinely.