7-hour surgery saves child from rare lung cancer

Mohammed Haidan with his grandparents in Kochi.

Mohammed Haidan with his grandparents in Kochi.  

Boy diagnosed with pulmonary blastoma was given only 15 more days to live by doctors in Dubai

A three-year-old boy, diagnosed with a rare type of lung cancer (pulmonary blastoma) that gave him just days to live, has beaten the odds to come back to life after a successful surgery at a city hospital.

“Little Mohammed Haidan has literally come back from his death bed,” doctors who treated him said. Haidan was diagnosed with the rare tumour in Dubai where doctors gave him just 15 more days to live.

But now, that he has survived the surgery that removed a 1.6-kg tumour from his lungs that had pushed all his organs to the seams, doctors are treating him for a complete recovery.

Team work involving a medical oncologist, thoracic surgeon, anaesthetist, nephrologist, and paediatricians from VPS Lakeshore Hospital and Ernakulam Medical Centre got together to carry out the surgery. Haidan’s family knew of the risks that included death on the operation table but gave the medical team full freedom to carry out the procedure.

Dr. Nasser Yusuf, cardio-thoracic surgeon at Ernakulam Medical Centre, was called upon by oncologist V.P. Gangadharan at Lakeshore to lead the surgery team. Dr. T.K. Ravi, managing director, EMC, ensured all medical and paediatric ICU care and Dr. Yusuf, along with the anaesthetist team of Dr. Mathew Varghese and Dr. Deepak R. Nair, removed the tumour in a seven-hour-long procedure.

Lakeshore had prepared the patient with support from Dr. Jithin, nephrologist, for the surgery and allowed the boy to be taken to another hospital.

Dr. Yusuf said the tumour did not have a definite shape and was spread out like a crude jumbled mass. It kept bleeding profusely as the cancerous growth was removed by cutting out pieces. It took a while to find the root of the tumour in the middle lung lobe and incise it out.

“It was the confidence given by Dr. Gangadharan that made me take up the surgery because, on the face of it, it looked like taking up a lost case. Dr. Ravi’s full support for the post-operative care made me take this head-on,” said Dr. Yusuf. The boy’s weight came down to 10 kg from 17 kg before the procedure.

Surgery was the only option, given the condition of the child, said Dr. Gangadharan.

Only 204 cases of the malignancy had been reported world-wide and it was the first such case in Kerala, said Dr. Yusuf.

Little Haidan had developed breathlessness four months ago and he continued to be sick off and on. An X-ray examination led to the discovery of fluid in the lungs and later, a tumour. Jubina, the child’s mother, and father Udaif had a tough time getting the boy to Kochi as the airline had initially refused to carry such a sick patient.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 11:55:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/7-hour-surgery-saves-child-from-rare-lung-cancer/article29630955.ece

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