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City docs do a surgical wonder

NECESSITY IS the mother of innovation. This was proved by city doctors who developed an indigenous technology to operate a spinal tumour, with the help of continuous MRI during the procedure. This operation was the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. The critical spinal tumor operation was performed on 15-year-old Roopa Mishra, who had a 12.9 centimetre

india Updated: Jan 16, 2006 00:34 IST

NECESSITY IS the mother of innovation. This was proved by city doctors who developed an indigenous technology to operate a spinal tumour, with the help of continuous MRI during the procedure.

This operation was the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. The critical spinal tumor operation was performed on 15-year-old Roopa Mishra, who had a 12.9 centimetre tumour and had even lost control of urination and defecation functions.

“We never wanted to take a risk with a conventional pre-operative MRI,” said Dr Vinor Tiwari, who conducted the operation. Doctors here then decided to employ a method never used before in the Asia Pacific region.

The MRI technique is normally used for brain tumour operation, but the cost of the equipment (Polstar) is at least Rs 18 crore. It was not used much in India due to its high price. More so, use of this equipment was restricted to brain surgery so far.

Doctors at NOVA Hospital then designed a parallel system on their premises, adopting the MRI technique for lower abdomen operation this time.
The MRI unit and the operating theatre were merged.

This allowed doctors to perform the operation, while live images of the tumour were on the screen thanks to MRI.“Usually tumours are operated after an MRI. But without a live MRI, even doctors cannot take out the entire tumour. Radiotherapy is then applied on the remnant,” Dr Tiwari said.

The three-hour operation was conducted by Dr Tiwari, along with Dr Ravindra Tripathi and Dr Subodh. The patient was able to walk home just two days after the operation.

The doctors said, “If the equipment were to be imported, it would have cost us crores. But, we developed this technique with an investment of just Rs 35,000 and put no extra burden on the patient. Rather, we now have clear pictures of the tumour that needs radiotherapy.”

First Published: Jan 16, 2006 00:34 IST