What does a 17 year old normally do?
Hang out with friends, party and look forward to an enjoyable future.
Vishala, a 17 year old bright girl was doing just that, when she suddenly noticed that she had lost her appetite, not relishing her namkeens and snacks as she used to earlier. Slowly she found that her eyes have started turning yellow. Obviously this is a sign for worry and her parents got her investigated with the usual blood tests for jaundice thinking it is ‘hepatitis’. This was not hepatitis as ultrasound showed that the bile ducts were getting dilated (if there is jaundice, get sonography because it differentiates between hepatitis and obstructive jaundice). She was found to have obstructive jaundice and a series of investigations and imaging followed – CT Scan,MRI etc.
She was sent to Mumbai because she was found to have a tumour in the liver hilum a very delicate, complex area. As I tweeted earlier, we really had to plan carefully for this young girl. The team was determined to do our best for the girl and we spent nearly 7 weeks planning out the procedure and consulted a colleague from Japan. The procedure meant that we had to remove three-fourths of the liver from Vishala and the balance 25% would not be sufficient for carrying on the liver functions.
You may be surprised to know that 60% of normal liver can be removed and the liver regrows in just TWO weeks . Amazing !!
I had the privilege of knowing a Japanese surgeon,Prof Makuuchi, who first described a method of enhancing the volume of the liver which we applied in her case. We then proceeded to do the complex procedure which took almost 8 hours.
Things can go right or horribly wrong especially in such complex surgeries. The family and the patient had complete faith in us. We also said that we will do everything possible for getting her all right. Fortunately for us the recovery was relatively smooth and now you see that she is ready to go home.
I asked her what she wanted to do now and she said, “I want to learn dancing”, which is natural for a girl of her age. She with her doctor didis post a happy picture.
It is great to have a wonderful team and a faithful patient. Certainly in this case it makes us feel happy that we could save the life of this teenager. Wish and hope she has many years of bright life!