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Rare brain surgery helps month-old infant live
Published on 24 Aug. 2009 10:44 PM IST
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Doctors at a private hospital here have successfully operated upon a month-old baby whose chances of survival were almost zero as he was suffering from a rare brain condition. Baby Dev Yadav, born premature at seven months, stopped taking the feed from his mother after birth and was diagnosed with hydro cephalus, put simply as “failure to thrive after birth”. But doctors at Artemis Health Institute (AHI) in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of Delhi, have given him a second chance. They performed a surgery lasting an hour-and-half on Dev last week and he is now recovering well. The family belongs to a village 10 km from Gurgaon and the baby was not born in AHI. According to doctors, what makes this surgery unique is that the baby weighed only 800 grams at the time of surgery, had low immunity, and his organs and skin were not fully formed. “Dev was suffering from a condition where the cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) in the brain increases, leading to compression of the brain and consequently a decrease in brain activity. Following this, his body was unable to grow and develop further,” said Arun Saroha, consultant with the neurosurgery department at AHI. Explaining the condition, Saroha said it is a congenital disorder because of malformation of the brain while the foetus is developing inside the mother’s womb and chances of survival of infants suffering from this condition are one percent. “We have surgically inserted a 45-cm long shunt in the child’s body, connecting his brain with the abdominal cavity, through which excessive CSF was drained into the abdominal cavity where it could be absorbed,” said Saroha. For doctors, it was a very risky operation keeping in mind Dev’s condition as patients weighing less than one kilogram are unable to survive surgeries. “Dev’s was naturally a high-risk operation,” said Saroha. “He is now recovering well and has been discharged from the hospital. His milk intake has increased and now, at two months, he weighs over a kilogram, which is an achievement considering his earlier situation,” said Saroha.

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