Aug 24, 2007 at 03:16am IST

Patient kept awake during rare brain surgery at Apollo

New Delhi: A rare surgery conducted by the neuro surgeons at Delhi’s Apollo hospital has saved a 33-year-old who was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The patient was awake throughout the surgery and also kept talking to the doctors even as they performed the operation.

A month back, doctors diagnosed Adur Rahman Prodhani with a brain tumour in the area of the brain that controls movement.

Brain surgery under general anesthesia—the usual procedure—could have removed the tumour, but doing so would have left the computer engineer with permanent damage to his face and limbs, and even loss of control over speech.

"I thought I was going to die,” said Prodhani. But Abdur's doctors suggested an unusual brain surgery known as ‘Awake Craniotomy’ in which the patient is kept conscious during the operation.

This type of surgery allows doctors to gauge the damage to vital functions, like movement and speech even as the surgery is being performed on the patient.

“Although the patient could feel the minutest of pain, the brain itself is painless,” said Dr VP Singh, Senior Neurosurgen, Apollo Hospital.

“We numb the 4 senses and then constantly keep talking to the patient. It is very complicated and requites the patient to cooperate. Because if he starts coughing or straining then it starts to pose a problem,” said Dr K J Chaudhary, Neuro- Anesthetist, Apollo Hospital.

In these cases, doctors stop the surgery as soon as some damage is noticed. The part of the tumour that is still left in the brain will be treated in radiotherapy sessions. Which means it will still be about a month before Abdur can get back to his job in Saudi Arabia.

The tumor has not been removed entirely, about 10 to 15 per cent still remains in his brain but that hardly seems to be a matter of worry. After all this unusual surgery have given Abdur a new lease of life.

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