Surgeons at HN Reliance Hospital successfully treat 10-year-old African girl for rare spinal deformity

Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital (RH) successfully performed a rare surgery on a 10-year-old girl from Djibouti – a country located on the Horn of Africa – to treat the serpentine curvature of her spine. With no adequate healthcare facilities available in her country, the patient (she did not wish to be named), a fifth grader, was living with the deformity for almost three years. With the state-of-the-art medical facilities and multidisciplinary team at RH, the patient will now be discharged with a corrected spine on Saturday.

Three weeks ago, the patient approached spine surgeons – Dr Kshitij Chaudhary and Dr Arjun Dhawale – at the RH with scoliosis, a spinal deformity which causes abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. With a severe right-sided hump on her rib and further risk of progression, a surgery was advised to save the life of the 10-year-old because the large curves would compromise the smooth functioning of her heart and lungs as the pulmonary function test showed that she already had restricted lung function. On the plus side, her neurological examination turned out to be normal.

Surgeons at HN Reliance Hospital successfully treat 10-year-old African girl for rare spinal deformity

The patient's spine before and after the surgery

Incidentally, the patient’s grand-aunt died of complications related to scoliosis which unfortunately went untreated until the age of 40. The patient’s parents were also told that Echocardiogram, a type of an ultra-sound test, revealed that she had a hole in her heart. Considering these factors, her parents were informed the need of an extensive surgery and a multidisciplinary team of doctors to perform it successfully.

A multidisciplinary team (MDT) comprising consultant anesthetists Dr Vidya Deshmukh and Dr Hemant Mehta; pediatric intensivist Dr Amish Vora; consultant spine surgeons Dr Kshitij Chaudhary and Dr Arjun Dhawale; paediatric cardiac surgeon Dr Shivaprakash Krishnanaik; paediatric cardiologist Dr Shreepal Jain and consultant physiotherapist Dr Bijal Dodia was put together to discuss the surgical and the postoperative care plan for the patient.

Given the language barrier as the patient spoke Arabic, the anaesthesia team noted down key phrases phonetically and recorded her father’s voice to help communicate with her inside the operating room. A cell saver technology (simply put: a method which helps to salvage the lost blood back to the patient during the surgery) was considered and successfully used in order to reduce the chances of excessive blood loss. Spine surgeons Dr Kshitij Chaudhary and Dr Arjun Dhawale operated on the patient simultaneously which reduced the operative time and smooth functioning of surgery.

After the successful surgery, the patient was soon moved to the paediatric intensive care. The postoperative care helped her sit up on a chair the very next day and she was able to walk the day after. The postoperative X-rays displayed the correction of her deformity. The patient and her parents would be leaving RH on Saturday.


Disclaimer: Sir HN Reliance Hospital is run by the Reliance Foundation. Firspost is a part of Network 18, owned by Reliance Industries.

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Updated Date: Feb 24, 2016 19:39:33 IST

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