KOCHI: Doctors at Renai Medicity, led by oncologist Dr Thomas Varughese, performed a rare, six-hour long surgery to remove a tumour from a 61-year-old patient and helped him recover within three weeks of the operation.The solitary plasmacytoma of the sternum (breastbone) - a rare tumour with just 30 cases reported the world over so far - was removed with a blood loss of around 50 ml,without injury, through a complex technique used for the first time in the world, said Dr Varughese at a news conference.
The surgery helped the patient Thomas M S, a Pathanamthitta native, to preserve dynamic chest/respiratory movements and get back to his routine in a short time. The Renai Medicity doctor said although the patient was over 60, he was very healthy, active and doing manual labour as well, but no doctors were willing to take up the challenge.
Earlier, the patient had radiotherapy for the tumour measuring 15x15 cms.
“At the medical college in Puducherry, he was offered palliative radiotherapy for want of expert surgeons to undertake the challenging surgery,” said Dr Varughese.
“It seemed unethical to abandon a healthy patient who could be saved with a daring surgery. We explained the risks to the patient and his family were ready for the challenge,” said Dr Varughese.
The patient was shifted out of the ICU in 24 hours, discharged from the hospital in three days in perfect health and within three weeks, the patient flew to Canada to join his son.