CHENNAI: Doctors at SIMS hospital successfully performed a complex surgery on a 19-year-old girl from Tanzania, who was diagnosed with a birth defect. Amour Sauda Suleiman was struggling from omphalocele, in which the infant’s abdominal organs, including intestine protrude outside the body because of a hole in the navel area. In Amour’s case, even the liver was pushed outside. It affected her normal life and she could not go to school, the doctors said.
“Just a thin sheet of skin was covering the protruding organs. Usually, within a month or so after the birth, the skin of the infant grows and covers the organs. However, in Amour’s case, it did not happen. Any injury to her abdomen would have cost her life,” said Radhakrishna Patta, Director and Senior Consultant, Surgical Gastroenterology of the hospital.
Doctors at Tanzania performed the surgery unsuccessfully when the patient was five years old. “This is the first case where the surgery was performed at this age. “The patient’s family brought her to the hospital. We wanted to put the liver back into the abdomen, but there was little space,” the doctors added.
“To enlarge the abdomen, we injected a litre of air into it through a fine tube over two weeks till the abdomen muscles enlarged. This procedure is called pre-operative pneumoperitoneum. Botox injection was also used to relax the muscles,” Patta said.
The organs were put back and the abdomen was closed. The surgery was performed two week ago and she is ready to go home. “In spite of extensive search in medical literature we have not come across any other similar case of hepat omphalocele-liver in omphalocele in the world,” doctors said.