A 13-year-old boy, who had a tracheostomy tube inserted in his windpipe for more than 10 years, underwent a rare surgery to get his voice back after seven years at a hospital in Delhi.
Shrikant had suffered a head injury and had to be kept on a ventilator for a long time. The long-term ventilation narrowed his windpipe. He then underwent a tracheostomy in which doctors inserted a tube into the windpipe by creating an opening in the neck.
“When I first saw the patient, I felt it is going to be a very complicated airway and voice box surgery which I have not seen in my 15 years of practice. This child had a complete 100 per cent stenosis (blockage) of the cricoid and tracheal complex (air pipe). Due to this huge complication, a single re-anastamosis (re-surgery) was going to be very difficult and challenging,” said Manish Munjal, Senior Consultant, Department of ENT, at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital where the surgery was performed.
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The hospital said that due to a long period of tracheostomy and a portion of the missing windpipe, there was no airway for him to breathe normally. The child had neither spoken nor eaten normally in seven years.
Sabyasachi Bal, Chairperson, Department of Thoracic Surgery, said that a `crico-tracheal resection` of the affected disease airway segment was decided upon.
It is a complicated and challenging surgery with high risk of failure, which may sometimes lead to even death. But the child did not have any other option and the same was explained to the family, he said.
The teams from the Department of Thoracic Surgery, ENT and Anesthesia worked together for six-and-a-half hours. The surgery was successful, but the challenges were still there. The post-surgery management was very important, said the hospital.
The child was kept in a neck flexion position (chin locked down towards the chest) for three days and was kept on low pressure oxygen support so that he did not develop any traumatic air leak.
He was also kept in the ICU for three days and the recovery was uneventful, said. Anil Sachdev, Director, Paediatrics Intensive Care. The child has now been discharged and is in stable condition.
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