On Tuesday, Purshottam Dadhania, 61, was walking excitedly in his doctor’s consulting room at Jaslok Hospital.
Last Friday, the retired schoolteacher from Ahmedabad underwent a new surgical procedure for advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD). His agile movements have come after a seven-year struggle with the disease that made his hands tremble or freeze mid-action and even caused hallucinations.
“I couldn’t walk and used to get tremors. The pain was unbearable and I attempted suicide thrice,” said Dadhania, adding that he could not afford the Deep Brain Stimulation surgery to control symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
However, Jaslok Hospital’s neurosurgeon, Dr Paresh Doshi, had a surprise for him.
He developed a procedure, Subthalamic Nucleus Lesioning, which reduced the cost of surgery for the disease from Rs6 lakh to Rs1 lakh by ruling out implant of costly pacemaker and electrodes.
Dadhania was his first patient to undergo the cost-effective surgery.
In this surgery, a small lesion (hole) is created to permanently control the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. During the surgery various parameters are used to assess the improvement in the patient’s symptoms. Once accurate localisation is confirmed, a small lesion is created to permanently stop the symptoms from recurring.
This procedure requires a hospital stay of up to three days as opposed to 15 days after the conventional surgery, said Doshi. The patient does not need any follow up. “This procedure is more challenging than Deep Brain Stimulation as it involves an irreversible lesion. Centres with a high level of expertise in performing Parkinson’s disease surgery should attempt this,” Doshi said. “The Subthalamic Nucleus lesioning is a risky procedure as it needs absolute precision, but offers similar results as Deep Brain Stimulation,” said Dr Uday Andar, neurosurgeon, Bombay Hospital.
The department of Stereotaxy and Functional Neurosurgery of Jaslok Hospital is planning to publish a paper on the new surgery after a year’s follow-up.