BHUBANESWAR: AIIMS Bhubaneswar has successfully conducted an awake brain surgery on a 14-year-old boy, who was suffering from epileptic fit due to a brain tumour.
With symptoms of seizures and speech problems, the patient, a native of Bhadrak district, had presented at the premier hospital a month back. Doctors diagnosed the brain tumour and decided to perform the surgery.
Awake brain surgery, also called awake craniotomy, is conducted to treat certain brain conditions, especially neurological issues, including some brain tumours or epileptic seizures. The surgery is needed only when the tumour or the area of the brain where seizures occur controls vision, movement or speech.
The first awake brain surgery on the young patient in the State was performed by a team of surgeons led by Head of the Department of Neurosurgery Prof RN Sahu, anaesthesiologist Dr Natasha Mishra and neurophysiologist Dr Priyadarshini Mishra.
"The teenager has been suffering from epileptic fit with features of speech problem during the seizure episodes for last eight months. Awake craniotomy procedure is performed on the brain while the patient is awake and alert. Although such surgery has been conducted on adults in Odisha, this was for the first time a young patient underwent the procedure," said Prof Sahu.
Such procedures are often difficult to be done in children who may not be ready to handle the psychological stress associated with it. As the patient remains awake during the procedure that remains pain free, it involves a lot of challenges for both the anaesthesiologist and the operating surgeon.
The anaesthesiologist during the entire procedure ensured that a balanced amount of anaesthesia technique is used so that the patient remains pain free, and is able to maintain neuropsychological tests and the airway.
"As the patient is very young, we had conducted a mock drill involving him before the actual surgery. He mustered courage and cooperated with us all along the procedure that took nearly two and a half hours. We asked him questions and monitored the activity in his brain as he responded. He was also allowed to talk on cell phone during the surgery to check speech. The patient has fully recovered," Dr Sahu added.