A tapeworm infection was all it took for 45-year-old Kamlesh to develop life-threatening complications in her liver, right lung and spleen. A rare triple organ surgery performed by surgeons at Fortis Escorts hospital Faridabad saved her life.
"Kamlesh lives in Aligarh and was referred to us at a critical stage. She had difficulty in breathing and was vomiting blood. She also had complaints of severe chest and upper abdominal pain. She had developed septecaemia because of multiple hydatid cyst in the right lung, right lobe of liver and spleen. Although operating on three organs in different locations is a high risk procedure, we decided to go ahead as any delay would have threatened her life," says Dr. Prabal Roy, head of surgery at Fortis who led the team that did the seven-hour surgery.
Hydatid disease is a tapeworm infection usually found in dogs and sheep. Humans get infected when they eat food contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae. In India, infections are common in sheep-rearing communities in Kashmir, Andhra and Maharashtra, but it is rare in northern India.
The hydatid cyst can get lodged in the brain, liver, lung and spleen. It can become life threatening if it ruptures. "Liver and lungs are usually infected but spleen infection are reported only in 1 to 2 per cent patients," says Dr Roy.
His task was for from easy. "Operating on three vital organs positioned at different locations is a high risk procedure, but we opted for a one-stage surgery because we did not want to risk the infection to spread," says Dr Roy.
The surgery involved removing two hydatid cysts from the lung, one from the liver by opening the diaphragm, and removing the spleen laparoscopically. The spleen had been destroyed completely. "We opted for a laparoscopic procedure to avoid multiple large incisions," says Roy, who was assisted by Dr Manu Shankar, Dr Avinash and Dr Shabnam Bashir. The surgery cost Rs 1.5 lakh.