Colon cancer defeated in six-hour surgery
Rapid recovery for patient as laparoscopy was done soon after diagnosis of cancer
When Binu Sebastian first started experiencing unexplained weight loss and bleeding from anus, he did not pay much attention to the issue.
A driver working for a local company in Ras Al Khaimah, Sebastian was too busy earning overtime and leading an exceedingly busy life to take time out to visit a doctor. However, when the bleeding got severe Sebastian began visiting several doctors, but no doctor could diagnose his problem.
Eventually, he came to Dr Anup Kumar Panigrahi at RAK Hospital as an outpatient. A surgeon of great repute, Dr Anup immediately did the patient's colonoscopic biopsy. The results showed that Sebastian was suffering from carcinoma of left side of large intestine, generally known as colon cancer. Besides bleeding and weight loss, the cancer manifests itself through fatigue, pale skin, nausea, vomiting and, at times, rectal pain. The patient immediately underwent laparoscopic surgery to remove the tumor and by fourth post-operative day, Sebastian was up and about and on his way to rapid recovery. The entire surgery, which included complete removal of tumor and subsequent repair took just six hours, a departure from general practice which involves two separate surgeries.
"This is the beauty of laparoscopy or minimally invasive surgery," says Dr Anup,
"The post-surgery recovery is much faster as is the return to mobility. Sebastian, for example, was able to move about only one day after the operation; within 48 hours he was put on liquid and soft diet, and 72 hours later he was discharged. The absence of psychological burden of long road to recovery and associated discomfort that comes with open surgery is also an important factor."
The minimal invasive procedure involves tiny incisions in the patient's abdomen: one encloses a small video camera that gives surgeon visual access to the insides and the other carries special surgical tools. With the help of the video screen that relays live picture of the abdomen, and using the tools, the surgeon removes the cancer from the surrounding tissues which is brought out through a small incision.
"Quick diagnosis of the issue and related action is just as important, and in this case, it was instrumental in addressing the issue facing the patient. Often, people tend to ignore their health problems, avoid regular health checkups and screenings, particularly if the symptoms are not painful. This is a big mistake since not all health illnesses and diseases involve discomfort, but they are just as serious and can even lead to loss of life," added Dr Anup.
Colon cancer is the second most common cancer recorded in the UAE and the second-highest cause of cancer death. It occurs more in men than in women with more men at risk of dying of the ailment. Moreover, doctors strongly suggest that Emirati men should get themselves screened for colon cancer at the age of 40 instead of the recommended 50 years in the West, since study has shown that the cancer occurs at an earlier average age of 47 in the country. Health authorities recommend a colonoscopy every 10 years for people over the age of 40.
Sebastian said: "I'm extremely thankful to Rak Hospital for the healthcare they provided and to Dr Anup for his quick intervention and immediate laparoscopic surgery that has allowed me to return to normal life within days. My faith in the hospital is further cemented, boosted by the very good care I received during my stay, not just by doctors, but the entire staff. I can never forget all they did for me." Sebastian is presently in Kochi, India, for post-operative chemo- and radiotherapy.
Dr. Raza Siddiqui, CEO Arabian Healthcare Group and executive director of the RAK Hospital said: "At Rak Hospital, our priority is to ensure that our patients receive immediate medical assistance, which includes prompt diagnosis and related action, for example a surgery. The hospital has earned a reputation for its excellent rehabilitative care, particularly post-operative, and it spurs us to do even better when our patients show faith and trust in our medical expertise and technology."
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