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All smiles: Ahmed Hashim Sadhil (left), who underwent a successful brain bypass surgery at Apollo Hospital, with his relative at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.
NEW DELHI: Fourteen-year-old Ahmed Hashim Sadhil from Karbala, Iraq, is relieved that he can get back to school after a hiatus of over four months.
Pressure because of aneurysm in one of his brain arteries had caused Ahmed to suffer a stroke resulting in slurred speech and weakness on the right side of his body. Though Ahmed’s condition was diagnosed in Iraq, he could not be treated there owing to lack of facilities.
He was brought to Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals here where a rare brain vessel bypass surgery was performed by a team compromising neurosurgeon Dr. Pranav Kumar, plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Shahin Nooreyezdan, and neuro-interventionist Dr. Harsh Rastogi.
Describing the aneurysm in Ahmed’s brain as a “ticking time bomb”, Dr. Nooreyezdan on Tuesday said: “It is a condition the patient lives with until the aneurysm bursts and when it does, the patient dies within five minutes.”
The brain needed a large uninterrupted supply of oxygen every minute to perform its functions, Dr. Nooreyezdan said. The blood was supplied by the four main brain arteries. For many, even if one artery was blocked due to disease, the other three arteries were capable of handling the extra load and maintaining the normal blood supply to the brain. But preliminary tests conducted on Ahmed revealed that his brain would not be able to tolerate closure of the diseased artery. Yet the artery was also capable of causing further stroke or a fatal brain haemorrhage.
“Still in order to save the boy we adopted what was not a very common procedure,” Dr. Nooreyezdan said. The procedure was carried out in two stages. In the first stage, a small artery from the face was connected to the fine arteries in the brain which augmented the brain’s blood supply. In the second stage the neuro-interventionist blocked the brain’s abnormal diseased artery. Both stages were performed earlier this month.
“Subsequent blood tests confirmed a normal blood supply to the brain despite one of the arteries being blocked,” Dr. Nooreyezdan added. Twelve platinum coils were also inserted in the aneurysm to isolate the diseased area. Speaking about the unusualness of the procedure, Dr. Kumar said: “The procedure has a roughly less than 50 per cent success rate and failure can be frustrating. Though we cannot claim that we are the first to perform the procedure in the country, still it is not a common procedure and we have performed it successfully.” The procedure which cost US$ 28,000 was sponsored by a Jesuit Christian group based in Australia.
“The same procedure would have cost four or five time more in Europe or North America,” Dr. Kumar added.
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