KOLKATA: In a first-of-its-kind attempt in eastern India, surgeons of state-run SSKM hospital saved an ovarian cancer patient by removing sections of affected areas and administering chemotherapy directly at the cancerous cells by using indigenously-modified machinery.
The 61-year-old woman patient, who was in the last stage of ovarian cancer, is expected to live a few more times than what was expected and might even recover completely as a result of the six hour-long surgery.
Besides the cytoreductive surgery that lasted for four-and-half hours, chemotherapy was applied directly on the affected cells in a process that is medically called 'Hipec' or Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy.
However, due to the absence of the expensive Hipec machine, the surgeons deviced their own technique to administer chemotherapy at the affected area.
Sources revealed that the patient has been suffering from cancer since long and even underwent a surgery four years ago. However, the Sonarpur resident complained of stomach ache and after examination SSKM radiotherapist Dr Koushik Chatterjee found that the cancerous cells had spread to the colon and immediately admitted her to the hospital referring surgery.
On April 21, a team of six surgeons led by Dr Makhanlal Saha started the operation by first removing a section of the food pipe and the stomach membrane or peritoneum which were affected by the cancerous cells.
Next, Hipec chemotherapy was administered through an anesthesia machine attached with a suction pump in absence of a Hipec machine.
Dr Soumen Das, who devised the technique for indigenously administering Hipec, said that administering direct chemotherapy to the affected region not only helps faster recovery but also prevents side-effects on the other unaffected organs.