THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Dr N N Murali has conducted more than 30,000 major surgeries, way higher than the world record - 20,423 major operations by Dr Robert McClure, a Canadian missionary surgeon. However, he did not make it to the Guinness Book of World Records, because of a change in its policies, says Murali.
He says that he would have performed around 50,000 surgeries, but has lost the records. If he were to include the minor surgeries, then it would be around 1.25 lakh surgeries, he adds. He was listed in Limca Book of Records for doing most number of surgeries in 2012.
The doctor, at 64 years, performs surgeries to this day. In his 35-year-career, the only year when he did not perform a surgery was in 2007, when he was appointed as DMO. Though he has retired from government service, he continues to work at private hospitals. Now, there would be days when he has 10 surgeries - a breeze as compared to the 32-surgery-days from his past.
The time he joined the field, hospitals, especially government hospitals, did not have the facilities they boast today. “I joined ESI Hospital at Ezhukone in 1979. I had to start from the scratch - setting a room aside for Operation Theatre (OT), getting an OT table made. I had to use the steam from a pressure cooker to sterilise surgical supplies, as there was no autoclave. I myself would administer anaesthesia, as the post of anaesthetist was not there,” he says.
His dream is a medical college in Kottarakkara. This was one of his main promises, when he was fielded as the Kerala Congress (B) candidate against Aisha Potti in the Legislative Assembly elections in 2011. About Guinness Book? “I am going to give it one more try. I am going to present my case as the ‘Most number of lives saved via surgery,” he says.