AIIMS doc removes brain tumor while patient chants Hanuman Chalisa

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Dr Deepak Gupta

Misbah Ali, Rohit Shisodia

Having faith in God is the greatest and above all things in the world. This was proved once again when a 24-year-old woman recited verses from the Hanuman Chalisa while doctors performed a complex 3-hour long surgery to remove her brain tumor.

The operation was successfully conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

Describing the procedure Dr. Deepak Gupta, Professor and Neurosergon, Delhi-AIIMS, who was part of the team, exclusively told Drug Today Medical Times(DTMT)'s Misbah Ali about the procedure and told her why it's done.

“This surgery is called awake craniotomy or surgery on the brain under awake condition. It means that while you are operating on the brain the patient is kept awake and fully conscious. Ideally, this is done in cases when you are operating on the areas of the brain wherein there are important structures—for vision, motor or speech,” Dr Gupta said.

Explaining the advantages of the surgery Dr Deepak Gupta said, “The advantage of this surgery is that there is no general anesthesia given to the patient, no endotracheal tube placed in the trachea (windpipe), and the patient is back to normalcy immediately after the surgery. Generally, when surgeries are done under general anesthesia the patient has to fast for 6 to 8 hours after the surgery, has to regain sensations, and is given a lot of anesthetic drugs for general anesthesia, so all those steps can be bypassed in this procedure.”

Not just this but Dr Gupta also said that this procedure also “gives psychological confidence to the patient.”

Taking pride in the advancement of Indian medical sciences he added, “Medical community doesn’t know much about the possibility of the surgery on the brain in the awake condition, while the truth is that I have been doing this in AIIMS since the last 20 years.”

While sharing the tip for the young doctors he said, “You should speak in the patient’s language, religion and what he/she strongly believes in. Because we have to keep talking to the patient throughout the surgery when you keep talking to the patient, it alleviates the anxiety, the pain if they have; it makes them feel comfortable.”

“The patient told me that she believes in Lord Hanuman and recites Hanuman Chalisa every day, so to know about the memory while I was taking out the tumor and also to keep her busy I asked her to recite it, which created a sense of positivity inside the theatre and among the staff. And today she is getting discharged, so within 2 days she is going back home,” he further added.

Dispelling the stereotype in the society about brain tumor surgery, he said, “So it’s a very early post-operative recovery to the patient, safe surgery, and the tumor is completely out. I believe that it gives a very strong message to society that brain tumor surgery is not the end of the world. The patient will live like a normal person.”

“We don’t completely shave the head of the patient as is shown in Aamir Khan’s movie that any neurological process will tonsure you. We shaved a very little part of the head and then shampooed her hair on the table itself after the surgery. Nowadays the idea is not just to cure the patient but to leave the least amount of psychological impact after the surgery,” he further added.

Stressing on the elimination of the “taboo” he said, “whenever you are in doubt about chronic headache, headache with vomiting, headache with diminution of vision, or you have fits then the person should consult the doctor and get you CT scan and MRI done. And in case you are diagnosed with a brain tumor then do not worry, they can be treated.”


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