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For Kenyan girl, tumour and trauma go in India

Posted by Administrator on June 30, 2011

SUFFERING NO MORE: Kenyan girl Vincencia (17) is all smiles at a press conference at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, where she was successfully operated upon for removal of an 11-kg tumour from her liver. With her is her uncle Martin. Photo: G. Ramakrishna

SUFFERING NO MORE: Kenyan girl Vincencia (17) is all smiles at a press conference at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, where she was successfully operated upon for removal of an 11-kg tumour from her liver. With her is her uncle Martin. Photo: G. Ramakrishna

Seventeen-year-old Vincenia will no longer have to grapple with sickness, caused by an abnormal growth of the abdomen, and taunts from schoolmates in her country, Kenya. She is happy to go back home, thanks to surgeons at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG) here, who removed an 11-kg tumour, which bothered her for three years.

The lone child of single mother Lilian, Vincenia had been living with her in Nairobi. She was like any other lively school-going teenager, and was keen on becoming a doctor. But her mother died when she was 12. Since then, her maternal uncle and aunt, Martin and Beatrice, had become her guardians. But even as the girl was coming to grips with the loss of her mother, another problem cropped up — her abdomen started growing abnormally, hampering her physical movements and affecting studies.

Even as she faced taunts everyday from schoolmates, who ascribed her bloated abdomen to pregnancy, a routine scan diagnosed it to be a tumour. After visits to medical centres in Kenya, blood tests, scans, three biopsies and an aborted attempt at surgery, her guardians, through the help of the media, publicised her plight and mobilised funds to bring her here. A doctor at a reputed hospital in Nairobi advised them to take her to the AIG. Following her admission to the institute three weeks ago, investigations showed the presence of the large tumour in the liver. Not only that, it was occupying the entire abdomen and pushing the intestines to a corner.

On June 16, a team led by Dr. G.V. Rao conducted the surgery which lasted almost four hours. AIG chairman D. Nageshwar Reddy lauded the team for performing a “surgical miracle.”

At a press conference on Thursday, Dr. Rao said the enormous size of the tumour, its vascular nature and the likely complications arising from bleeding were the main challenges. He said every possible technology was used to minimise blood loss.

Although the girl lost 13 litres of blood during the procedure, it was sucked by a Cell Saver System, cleansed and transfused back to the patient. Additionally 18 units of packed cells and 22 units of blood products were transfused to normalise the blood volume, even as an anaesthetic team closely monitored her blood pressure and cardiac output during the operation.

Vincenia, who is leaving for Nairobi via Mumbai, said she was happy to return home and would immediately go back to school.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/article2148343.ece

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