KERALA

Surgery helps bed-ridden man back on his feet

The medical team of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, which performed a five-hour surgery on Saidalavi.

The medical team of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, which performed a five-hour surgery on Saidalavi.  

Saidalavi wants to engage in something to keep him occupied

For the neighbours of Saidalavi, it was sheer joy to see the man walk around and greet them.

Many had not seen him for more than 30 years or so when he became housebound and much later bed-ridden because of a humongous swollen mass hanging from his left thigh.

After the surgery in January that removed the 14-kg mass, he went home and was able to go about his daily routine without any help.

The family felt relieved as the surgery not only had put him back on his feet, but it had made positive changes in the 46-year-old man.

He had shunned contact with the outside world because of his disfigured body, said Saidalavi’s brother, who works as a cook.

Lymphatic filariasis

He had stopped looking at life positively after he got afflicted with lymphatic filariasis as a 16-year-old.

He had dropped out of school after class four because of family’s financial problems.

Later, to keep him occupied, he had also worked as a mukri in a mosque for about two years before he left that.

He had undergone a couple of surgeries over the years, but it had not brought any relief earlier.

Native of Thrissur district, he is being looked after by his family comprising his mother and three siblings.

Dr. Subramania Iyer, head, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, who had led the five-hour surgery, said that it was a complex surgery as first he had to undergo an intensive antibiotic therapy for four weeks to control infection in the legs.

Several complications could arise because of his weight and other problems, said Dr. Iyer.

Preparations for surgery

The challenge lay in preparations for the surgery of a lymphedema patient, which is called Comprehensive Decongestive Therapy, which went on for a month.

It also involved a manual lymphatic drainage and a special method of bandaging.

The size of his swollen legs required that he was assisted by at least four therapists.

It was also a challenge for the anaesthetists to manage the big excision in such an overweight patient.

His legs would require further reduction surgery after 6-9 months before he starts leading a normal life, said Dr. Iyer.

But, Saidalavi is looking at life more positively now and wants to engage in something to keep him occupied.

His whole body seemed to have transformed. May be a small shop would help him get back to life, said his brother.

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