Haryana: Performing a complex life-saving surgery, doctors at Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka saved the life of a three-month old baby boy suffering from a rare congenital condition in his brain and spine.
After the parents noticed a wound in the lower back of the newborn four days after birth, he was immediately admitted to the NICU. Detailed investigations and MRI of the brain and spine confirmed the improper development of the spinal cord that had caused severe leakage of the spinal fluid. Considering the fatal condition of the neonatal, the team of doctors were swift to respond to the line of action and took up the case immediately.
The multidisciplinary team was called for a thorough check up of the baby’s condition before taking up the surgery. The baby required 2 different surgeries, one for correcting the spinal cord defect and the other surgery to drain the excess fluid accumulation.
Making use of an advanced procedure known as programmable VP shunting, the correction surgery took place for 5-6 hours. Despite the surgery, post-surgically, the baby’s head size kept increasing, and the baby also developed epileptic seizures (fits) and required a revision shunting. Also due to the collapsed right lung, the baby was kept on a ventilator for 10 days and then shifted on CPAP for four days before he could breathe normally. Looking at the condition of their new born the parents were completely vandalised.
“While the baby was on antibiotics to subside the effect of acetobacter and anti-seizure medications for 20 days, a 2nd time programmable VP shunt was successfully done with sterile culture reports. While surgery remains the last resort to correct the functional outcomes or curb down the progression of the damage rate to the nervous system, the surgery aims to relieve the pressure on the brain and spine, and re-establish the normal fluid circulation. In this case the baby was successfully treated and as the defect was on the lower back of the spine, the chances of onset of any type of disability in the future are nil.” Said the doctor
The baby’s condition is one of the rare birth defects of the spinal cord, where a portion remains unfused, allowing the spinal cord to protrude out through an opening.
“Depending upon the type and severity of the malformation, the symptoms may vary from person to person. While some may be present with no symptoms until late adulthood, others may have persistent symptoms in early childhood itself. If the baby was left with the defect, he would face a lot of problems later in life. Associated problems include poor ability to walk, learning problems, problems with bladder or bowel control, a tethered spinal cord, and latex allergy. Persistent leakage of the spinal fluid would have caused an abnormal increase in the head size due to pressure inside the skull, frequent headaches, double vision, and poor balance with increasing age and could be fatal at any time.” He added