ibnlive » Health

Mar 02, 2012 at 10:10am IST

Mumbai: Rare surgery cures baby of birth defect

Mumbai: Like most infants, 14-month-old Pranav is fascinated by the sound of his rattle, thankfully oblivious to the complicated surgeries he's just undergone. Malnourished from birth, he also suffered from a rare congenital heart defect.

Dr Snehal Kulkarni, Pediatric Cardiologist, Kokilaben Hospital, said, "The baby was blue when he came in. It explained his condition. Pure and impure blood was getting mixed in the right side of his heart."

That's not all. Pranav's oesophagus was the size of a needle. His parents, from a small town in Sangli, Maharashtra, knew something was wrong because he had breathing issues from birth, and also suffered repeated pneumonia attacks.

Dr Sanjeev Badhwar, ENT Surgeon, Kokilaben Hospital, said, "The area below the voice box was narrow, so no air could pass and the child could not breathe by himself. So the narrow area was removed and the wind pipe below that which is of normal size was hitched up to the voice box,so that he has a normal air passage."

"Only 40 recorded surgeries have been done world-wide for this sort of problem and the three hour procedure was complicated, and risky. Special surgical instruments were needed, given the tiny two-and-a-half kilo baby. It was a challenge to give anaesthesia through such a small air passage. The wind-pipe is so soft, any damage could have ruined his voice. Nerve damage was also a concern," he added.

Pranav's parents are more than grateful, now that the ordeal is over. Two weeks since the surgery, little Pranav has already started gaining weight. The question that remains to be seen: Will he need follow-up care?

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