Obuleshu (60), a labourer from Thimmapuram village of Guntakal mandal in Anantapur district, lived with hydatid cysts, a parasitic infestation, for 20 years.
Quite remarkably, the villager survived the illness, which had spread to his liver, intestines, pelvis, urinary tracts, chest cavity and kidneys and had become life threatening.
When surgeons at Osmania General Hospital (OGH) cut open Obuleshu’s thorax region last Saturday, they were in for a shock. “The cysts were everywhere. Liver, chest, intestines, pelvis, kidneys and even the urinary tract were fully infested. It took us over seven hours to remove them gradually,” said Dr. Ram Singh, Assistant Professor, general surgery, and Dr. C. G. Raghuram, head, anaesthesia department.
At the end of the marathon surgery, nearly six litres of hydatid cysts were removed from Obuleshu’s internal organs.
Doctors said the cysts were so many that there was pressure due to which organs, including lungs and kidneys, on the right side were compressed and not functional.
“It’s a miracle that he is still alive because due to pressure, his left side lungs and kidneys were compressed and not working. Apart from the cysts, we also removed close to three litres of pus, a sign of infection,” Dr. Raghuram explained. Obuleshu had severe breathlessness when he was admitted to OGH.
“His lungs were infected, and the right lung was not working. The patient was anaemic. His kidney functioning was compromised. Protein reserves were very low and he had lost his immunity.” Dr. Ram Singh explained.
Hydatid cysts are caused by the parasite echinococcus granulosus or echinococcus multilocularis. “Humans get this parasite when they consume food contaminated with animal faeces or had come in direct contact with animals. The parasite is spread among humans through dogs, sheep and goats,” said Dr. K. Jeevan, Assistant Professor, general surgery.
The ailment is said to be endemic to Kurnool and Anantapur districts. “There is a need to educate villagers on the importance of maintaining personal hygiene,” he added.
Surgeons at OGH had to work for seven hours to remove cysts that had spread to Obuleshu’s liver, intestines, pelvis, chest cavity and kidneys and had become life threatening