Rare surgery brings youth back to life

Subash, who met with an accident while working in Dubai, after his successful surgery at a city hospital.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Three weeks after a rare surgery in Kochi that saved his life and moved his abdominal organs from the chest cavity back into the abdomen, 33-year-old Subash is glad that he can breathe comfortably again.

His ordeal began six years ago when a newly-wed Subash met with an accident while working in Dubai. Hit by a truck and dragged by the moving vehicle, he was left paralysed in both legs when the nerves and vertebrae in his back were damaged.

His trauma, however, did not end there.

More recently, back home in Malappuram, he developed breathlessness and a CT scan showed that his liver, stomach and intestines had moved into his chest cavity through a rupture in the diaphragm. Consequently, his right lung had collapsed and his heart had compressed the left lung against the chest wall, which meant that he was living on one half of a lung.

Subash’s diaphragm had ruptured six years ago in the accident, but it might have been a small tear then and might have gone undetected. Over time, the tear had grown to around 15 cm, and the pressure in the abdomen had pushed his organs into the chest, said Dr. Nasser Yusuf, cardiothoracic surgeon at Sunrise Hospital who performed the surgery on him on March 30 along with senior surgeon Dr. Mathew Sebastian.

Subash’s condition was precarious since only one half of one lung was functioning and a small infection could also be life threatening. “It is very rare. When major thoracic injuries occur, in most cases people do not survive. Diaphragmatic rupture is seen in less than 1% of chest injuries,” Dr. Nasser said. In the five-hour-long surgery, the liver, intestines and stomach were freed from the chest cavity without injuring the organs and the diaphragm was repaired with a mesh, restoring the normal functioning of both lungs.

Back home, Subash says that his recovery has been progressing well.

“Prior to the surgery, it had become very difficult to breathe. Breathing is a lot easier now,” says Subash who is looking forward to working again after a period of rest. “Subash’s family and his wife Sharanya have stood by him like a rock,” Dr. Nasser said.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 12:27:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/rare-surgery-brings-youth-back-to-life/article34380252.ece

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