24 May 2010
By Pratibha Masand
They rushed her to a hospital in Virar where it was found that Babybai had five aneurysms in the artery in her brain, and was suffering from low heart rate and hypertension. An aneurysm is an abnormal ballooning of a portion of an artery due to weakness in the wall of the blood vessel. It may turn fatal if it bursts, say doctors.
As suggested by the doctors at that hospital, Babybai’s son, Uttam Patil, shifted her to Bombay Hospital, where the doctors spent almost two days to decide on the plan of action; her condition had turned rather serious as she had also suffered a brain haemorrhage as well as a partial paralysis. "An open surgery was out of question as it would have proved too risky, considering her heart condition. Her heart rate was only 15%, while the normal rate should be 60%. The case was quite complicated,’’ said Dr Sharad Ghatge, consultant interventional neurocardiologist at Bombay Hospital.
Babybai’s family seemed to have given up all hope. "With all the conditions that the doctors said she was suffering from, we had lost hope. We thought nothing could bring her back. But the team of doctors decided to treat her without an open surgery,’’ said Uttam. Instead, the doctors decided to perform an endo–vascular coiling in her aneurysms and the surgery was conducted on April 3.
"We first put a guiding catheter from her groin that reached till her neck. Through that, we put another hairline catheter that carried the platinum wire supposed to be coiled in her aneurysms. But when we started putting the coil, it started entering the parent artery as well. So we had to put a balloon in that portion of the artery where the aneurysms were present. Once an aneurysm is filled with the coil, it poses no threat to the patient,’’ said Dr D B Modi, head of neuro radiology department in the hospital.
Dr Uday Limaye, from the neuroradiology department of KEM Hospital, said aneurysms, though not very common, were not unheard of. "We treat around 80 aneurysms a year. Many a time, they are fatal and in most cases, it is difficult to put a finger on the reason behind its occurrence. However, with cardiac problems and hypertension, the situation becomes even riskier,’’ said Dr Limaye.
Even after the procedure, it took almost two days before the Babybai could regain consciousness. After a nerve–wracking wait, Babybai came around, recovering almost 90% from her "unknown disease’’. "I don’t know what happened. Just yesterday, I went to pray outside my house and got a severe headache. They have admitted me here. I am fine now, though the fingers of my left hand are numb and I cannot move them freely,’’ says a disoriented Babybai. It was then that her family, now relieved and happy that she is fine, told her that it had been over three weeks since she was brought to hospital.