Doctors in AIIMS create a new food pipe in a patient

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Doctors in AIIMS create a new food pipe in a patient

Wednesday, 22 March 2023 | Staff Reporter | BHOPAL

In a rare feat, a team of doctors at AIIMS, Bhopal, successfully performed a rare and complex operation to create a new food pipe.

Some time ago, one female had consumed corrosive substance (toilet cleaner) at home that severely damaged her food pipe (esophagus). This corrosive substance had severely burnt and completely closed her food pipe. It had also affected her stomach. She was unable to swallow anything through her mouth, not even water or her own saliva, a condition called as dysphagia.

She was dependent on tube feeding (feeding jejunostomy) for survival where food in liquid form is directly delivered to the small intestine. Inability to eat and drink like a normal person was severely affecting her daily life. Patient consulted at many other centers for her problem before coming to AIIMS Bhopal.

At AIIMS Bhopal, she was evaluated by a team of doctors from Surgical Gastroenterology and ENT department. Surgery was planned to construct a new food pipe after an extensive work up and discussion with patient and family members. After getting her food pipe back, patient is now happy as she is now able to eat and drink through mouth after almost 10 months.

Dr.Vishal Gupta, Additional Professor and Head of Surgical Gastroenterology department who lead the operation, told that the patient had not eaten or drunk anything by mouth for last 10 months, and was surviving by taking food through the feeding tube. Constructing a new food pipe was a real challenge as the entire esophagus was damaged by the corrosive substance. And stomach was also damaged. The team of Doctors constructed a new food pipe using a portion of her large gut (colon) which was pulled up all through her chest in to the neck from the abdomen. After this surgery, that is called as colonic pull-up or pharyngocoloplasty, she can eat and drink without depending on a feeding tube."

Adding to this, Dr. Lokesh Arora, informed that her stomach was also severely injured with corrosive substance and a passage was also created between stomach and small gut (intestine).

"It was a real challenge to preserve her voice as we had to join new food pipe in throat near voice box and an important nerve which control voice and also protects the airway passing through this area" added Dr Vikas Gupta, Additional Professor and Head, ENT.

This long-drawn nine-hour operation was performed by a team of doctors that consisted of Dr. Vishal Gupta, Dr. Lokesh Arora, and Dr. Sajay Raj from Surgical Gastroenterology department; Dr. Vikas Gupta, Dr Ganakalyan, Dr Rahul from ENT department; and Dr Shikha Jain from anesthesia department. Patient remained in ICU for about 10 days under supervision of Surgical ICU Incharge Dr JP Sharma.

Executive Director Prof Ajai Singh congratulated and applauded the efforts of the entire team for conducting such a difficult supermajor operation successfully.

Experts strongly feel that the sale of unbranded corrosive substances like toilet cleaner containing strong acid, which are easily available in local market,should be strictly banned as many a times these substances are consumed accidently, specially by children, or deliberately with life-threatening consequences.

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