Dr Thomas Varughese, head of the department of Oncology, Lakeshore Hospital , Kochi , has won the ‘Best innovation in surgery award’ of the MGR Medical University, Chennai. He is the first Malayali doctor to receive this award, which was presented to him on ‘Doctors Day’ and ‘University Day’ celebrations in Chennai on Sunday.
Thomas has developed a new approach to thyroid surgery in which the scars do not remain on the neck.
A permanent scar is an embarrassment for the patient, which can lead to psychological and mental trauma.
Thomas uses a 3D interactive digital anatomy. It is a novel concept where doctors can dissect the body on the computer. This new method is called ‘Horizontal lateral thyroidectomy --Thomas technique.’
The incision is placed on the side of the neck (unlike common surgery where the incision is placed at the anterior and most exposed part) which falls on the skin crease, and cuts the platysma which heals in less than 3 -6 months leaving no scar.
In this technique, the blood supply to the gland is tackled upfront (unlike conventional surgery where the gland is handled first). Such a procedure will enable the surgery to be done without any blood loss.
Since the blood supply is cut off upfront the gland which is to be removed will shrink to more than 50 percent.
And surgery becomes simpler and quicker. The closure of the wound is faster since surgery is actually a minimally invasive one.
A study was conducted from August 2008-2010 on 283 patients with different age groups using the new technique.
The results and the follow-up data were presented in several international conferences in the Philippines (2010), Eurasian Federation of Surgical Oncology conference, Moscow (2012), ASI national meet in Delhi (2010), Bangalore (2011) and ASI national meet in Kochi (2011).
It has now been accepted for presentation at the cancer world summit, UICC international cancer congress to be held in Canada in August 2012 as well as the European cancer congress to be held in Valencia , Spain in September 2012.