iconimg Sunday, April 19, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Ludhiana, September 11, 2013
A team of doctors at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) has performed a rare keyhole surgery on a defective diaphragm - the muscle wall between chest and abdomen - on a newborn boy having 2.5 kg weight. It took two and a half hours to a team of four doctors and their associate staff to finish the operation. The boy has been discharged from the hospital following recovery.

The infant has been experiencing difficulty in breathing. After examinations at the CMCH, it was found that on left side of his chest, the diaphragm was defective and weak.

“Owing to eventration of the diaphragm (an abnormally high or elevated position of one leaf of the intact diaphragm as a result of paralysis, aplasia, or atrophy of varying degree of muscle fibres) baby's abdominal organ like stomach, spleen and intestine were shifted in the chest and causing pressure on the opposite lung and heart, therefore the child was having difficulty in breathing that was progressively increasing,” said Dr William Bhatti, professor and head of the department of paediatric surgery.

Dr Bhatti led a team of doctors - including Dr N Bedi, Dr A Gupta, Dr S Dhuria - and other associate staff to successful conduct thoracoscopic repair of the defective diaphragm. Under this technique, three 0.3-cm keyholes were made into the chest of the boy to repair his weak and defective diaphragm.

According to the CMCH, the thoracoscopic repair of a defective diaphragm in a newborn is a very rare case. Earlier these types of problems were managed by opening abdomen or chest.

Birth defects in children could be managed effectively if parents and physician could identify birth defects well in time, said Dr Bhatti.

“The thoracoscopic repair of a defective diaphragm, in a newborn has been done for the first time in north India,” claimed Dr Bhatti, adding that they took two and a half hours to conduct this rare surgery.

“The baby is fine now and has been discharged three weeks ago,” he added.

Dr Bhatti said: “Operations by open techniques are painful for babies and recovery is delayed. Similar, operations by thoracoscopy or laparoscopy are less painful, scars of the operation are negligible and the hospital stay is remarkably reduced.”