She walked in at the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) complaining of difficulty in swallowing and hoarseness in speech.
But, little did the 40-year-old housewife imagine that she would have a very rare complex tumour in the skull base region of her brain.
However, a skull base surgery team involving neurosurgeons and ENT surgeons at the CMCH have given the woman a new lease of life.
In a 15-hour surgery, a surgical team comprising Dr Sukhdeep Singh Jhawar, assistant professor, neurosurgery; Dr Ashsish Vargesh, professor and head, ENT; and Dr Valsa Abrahem, professor and head, anaesthesia; successfully removed the tumour.
According to doctors, the tumour was close to many critical structures of the brain. However, a skull base team at CMCH, the first of its kind in the region, involving neurosurgeons, ENT surgeons and a neuro-interventionist, headed by Dr Sarvpreet Singh Grewal decided to take up the challenge and went ahead with the surgery.
The patient recovered well and was discharged on day 10.
Dr Sukhdeep S Jhawar, assistant professor, neurosurgery, said, “Skull base region is the most difficult region in the body to operate. These tumours known as 'glomus tumour' are very rare and not seen in day-to-day practice. Operations in this region require high level of surgical expertise, teamwork and institutional back up. This was the first of its kind operation in the region.”
Dr Sukhdeep said skull base surgery was the final frontier of neurosurgery and involved areas between brain, nose and ears.