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Brain surgery with local anaesthesia gives teen new life

KOLKATA: Ever heard of a brain surgery where the patient has not been put under the effect of general anaesthesia. It may sound ridiculous or frightening, but this is exactly what 18-year-oldMoubani Karmakar went through. Medicos refer to the process as ‘awake craniotomy’ where the patient is given local anaesthesia to reduce post-operative complications.

The wondrous feat was performed by DrAmitabh Chanda, a neurosurgeon at the Fortis Hospital. The teenager suffered a seizure in July 2011 and was immediately put under a neurophysician’s medication. Despite being put on the medication, Moubani continued to get the fits. After a series of clinical tests and a CT scan, the girl was diagnosed with a tumour on the right side of the brain. Later, a functional MRI and other tests revealed that the tumour was exactly on the motor area of the brain.

With her board examinations just round the corner, it was the end of the world for the resident of Palashi. But Chanda did not lose hope. He decided to perform ‘awake craniotomy’ on Moubani. He also sought the help of neuronavigation (a set of computer-assisted technologies used by neurosurgeons to navigate within the skull or the vertebral column during surgery) for precision.

“I realised that if the surgery was done in the conventional manner, she would become paralytic on the right side. Awake craniotomy is done rarely as all patients aren’t cooperative enough and the patient’s cooperation along with great coordination between the anaesthesia team and surgeons are of utmost importance for such surgeries. Moreover, female patients become emotionally unstable after such surgeries as their head is shaved off, so I ensured that I make a minimum cut,” said Chanda.

Though this operation is similar to a conventional craniotomy, the only difference is the patient stays awake throughout the procedure. This method is preferred by doctors to remove lesions involving functionally important regions of the brain like areas responsible for speech and movement. It helps surgeons to test regions of the brain before they are incised or removed and patient’s functions continuously throughout the operation which helps to minimize the risks of such operations.

It was finally on February 8 that the girl was operated upon. “Moubani was given local anesthesia and sedated for the surgery so that she could interact with me throughout the procedure,” added Chanda. This reduces the chances of post-operative paralysis and other complications.

“I will remain forever grateful to the team of doctors who operated upon me. Before my operation I consulted many doctors who warned me of becoming paralysed on the right side and loss of speech. But I had complete faith in my doctor who has given me a new life,” said a happy Moubani.

Short URL: http://www.cckerala.com/?p=12001

Posted by on Jun 20 2012. Filed under Science & Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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