Rare Surgery Helps Woman Breathe Easy
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19 May 2009
Doctors at the Government General Hospital call it a rare ENT surgery but for 19–year–old Anjali Devi it was much more than that. It has helped her breathe easy and also united her with her husband.
Anjali Devi was just 17 when she was married. A year later, after a fight with her husband Sivakumar, a cable operator, she swallowed pesticide and was rushed to the Jawaharlal Institute of Post–graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry in a comatose stage. She had to be on a ventilator for sometime before she could recover. “I recovered well and was even discharged from the hospital. But a week later I developed severe respiratory distress,” she says.
The doctors at the Puduherry hospital wheeled her in for an emergency surgery, and operated on the neck to open a direct airway through an incision in the trachea (windpipe) to ease her breathing. “But they have not been able to wean her off the procedure called tracheotomy. She had to stay with the hole in her neck as a part of the trachea was damaged,” said Dr K Balakumar, head of ENT.
Meanhwile, her husband Sivakumar decided to leave Anjali Devi. “He left me because I was walking around with a hole in my neck. I regretted everything I did but was helpless,” she said.
Then she visited the GH and luck smiled on her. The doctors there did a surgery where they pushed the larynx a little below and cut the part of the damaged trachea. “She now has no hole in her neck. And her husband has come back to her,” said a doctor at the GH.