Infant Gets a new lease of life, April 27, 2007

Infant gets a new lease of life

Rare Surgery Helps Correct Upside-Down Stomach in One-Month-Old Baby


Mumbai: It has been a long month for Panvel resident 19-year-old Shanta Patil. She de-livered a baby boy on March 18, but every time Saahil took in his regular feeds he would vomit it out. "His abdomen would swell up as well," recalls the young mother.

But five days back, her tiny tot was cured of a rare condition that led to his constant rejection of food and that too in a special way. Saahil, who was born with an "upside down" stomach, underwent a gastropexy operation that is better known as "fixing the stomach" surgery.

"He is perhaps the only one-month-old baby in India to have undergone gastropexy using the laparoscopic technique," claimed pediatric surgeon Arbinder Singal at MGM Hospital, Vashi, who operated on Saahil on April 19. Laparoscopy is a minimal access surgery using tiny holes of barely 3mm to reach the organ concerned. Trained at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr.Singal found only one similar reference in medical literature.

The Patils, a farming couple from Dighati village of Panvel, realised their baby had a problem right in the first week. "We took him to the local doctor who referred us to a local nursing home that ultimately sent us to MGM Hospital in Kamothe," recalled Shanta. It took a while to detect the upside down stomach and Saahil was kept on intra-venous drip for the time.

On the operation day, Dr. Singal began with a laparoscopic investigation. "As he was tiny, we were worried we won't be able to operate using the minimal access surgery, but we managed to fix his stomach using four stitches," explained the doctor.

 The real advantage of the technique was that Saahil had no loss of blood, needed no transfusions and was able to take in feeds from the third

day itself. Dr Sanjay Oak, dean of BMC-run Nair Hospital and himself a paediatric surgeon, said Saahil's condition is quite rare. "And laparoscopy in such a small child in this case should be regarded as special," he told TOL Paediatric surgeon Ketan Parikh from Jaslok Hospital, Peddar Road, said that while he has himself operated on a 15-day-old baby using the laparoscopic technique, he was not aware about it being used for gastropexy.

"Laparoscopic techniques mean that the child has barely three or four incisions of 3mm or even 2mm these days, can recover early and has no lifelong scars," said Parikh. Shanta and her husband Uday are unaware about the nuances of Saahil's surgery. "We are happy that he is fine, has milk like any other child and was operated for free," she says.


He is perhaps the only one-month-old baby in India to have undergone gastropexy using laparoscopy Arbinder Singal PAEDIATRIC SURGEON

BORN AGAIN: Shanta Patil's baby was operated for free

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