KOCHI: Diagnosed with elephantiasis? It's a sorry state many of those afflicted with the condition would rather encounter within the four walls of their home rather than subject themselves to merciless public scrutiny and unsolicited advice from the so-called well-wishers. Most people still believe the disease does not have an effective treatment. Not only does it have a proper cure, but it will not also cost more than Rs 50,000.
The lymphedema clinics have been offering treatment for elephantiasis for some time now. But lack of knowledge about the availability of treatment has kept the patients well inside the walls of their houses. Saidalavi, 46, hailing from Thrissur, is an exception to this.He came to Amrita Hospital's lymphedema clinic with a swollen mass weighing around 14 kg hanging from his body which was affecting his movements and had left him bedridden for over two years. He had to rely on his mother and two brothers for everything. After undergoing surgery to remove the mass, Saidalavi is now on the road to recovery. He can walk normally as well.
" The surgery was complex. We first instituted intensive antibiotic therapy to control infection in his legs. Next, we instituted Comprehensive Decongestive Therapy (CDT) which involves a Manual Lymphatic Drainage(MLD) and a special method of bandaging to make the legs softer by pushing the accumulated fluid to other parts of the body. Once the process was done smoothly, his leg was ready for the reduction.
The surgery was successful. After a month, Saidalavi can walk on his own. He will need further reduction surgery on both legs after six to nine months and then will be able to lead a normal life," said Subramania Iyer, Head , Plastic and Resconstructive Surgery, AIMS.