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Rare surgery on 15-month-old

india Updated: Feb 16, 2009 15:20 IST
G Mohiuddin Jeddy

Riya Chavan is a survivor. Just 15 months old, she was diagnosed with recurrent urinary infection and pus discharge.

After a rare laproscopic surgery performed last week, little Riya Chavan is ready to return home. A four-doctor team performed the costly surgery free at the Mahatma Gandhi Mission (MGM) Hospital, Vashi.

Earlier, other doctors had told her parents, both labourers from Nanded, that she would not survive.

“When Riya was born, I had told my wife, Usha, that we would not have another child, and instead bring up Riya well.” says her father Jitendra Chavan (27).

“When Riya was just six months old, the infection made her lose a lot of weight,” he said. Medical tests concluded that Riya had a non-functioning right kidney, which was not draining into the bladder and was full of pus.

“The draining pipe, called the ureter which normally connects to the bladder, was connected to the vagina in this case, causing small amounts of infected urine to leak into the undergarments,” said paediatric surgeon and urologist Dr A.K. Singal who headed the team of doctors who performed the surgery on Riya.

The condition, called ectopic ureter, is rare and often not diagnosed early, said Dr Singal.

Though local doctors in Nanded had told the Chavans that Riya would not survive long, her parents refused to give up. “I heard of a medical camp in Nanded and took Riya there for check up. There, one Dr Kadam referred us to the Vashi hospital,” said Jitendra.

At the Vashi hospital, Dr. Singal took the child under his supervision, and given the family’s economic status, the hospital decided to foot all expenses.

“Riya’s right kidney was removed by keyhole surgery. There are only two stitches on the belly and she has recovered well and is ready for discharge,” said Dr Singal, adding Riya could probably be one of the youngest children in India to undergo such an extensive surgery successfully with laparoscopy techniques.

“The doctors have given my child a second life,” said her mother Usha.