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Family alleges surgeon won’t show kidney he removed from patient Vijaya Kalokhe’s kidney had to be extracted after Dr Lathi cut a vein ‘by mistake’. Her family says he tried to bribe them to keep quiet, doctor says that’s rubbish. But where is the organ?
Vijaya Kalokhe Vijaya Kalokhe
Here’s a curious case of a kidney that seems to have ‘vanished’ into thin air. Ashok Kalokhe, a resident of Dehu Gaon, took his wife, Vijaya, for treatment to the Lathi Hospital in Narayan Peth. The 33–year–old woman had stones in her right kidney and required surgery. However, his wife ended up losing the kidney due to the surgeon’s negligence, the family has alleged.

The Kalokhes are also livid about the fact that the doctor did not show any of the family members the kidney that was removed from Vijaya. Medical ethics say that a doctor must show the body part that has been extracted to the patient or the patient’s kin on demand. The Kalokhes have also alleged that the doctor did not make a pathology report and tried to "settle the matter by bribing the patient".

Narrating the incident to Pune Mirror, Abhijit Kokane, nephew of the patient said, "On September 12, my aunt Vijaya complained of severe pain in her abdomen. She was taken to Dr Kulkarni’s clinic on Dehu Road. A sonography showed she had kidney stones. Many people told my uncle that Lathi Hospital was good for such treatment, and my uncle took my aunt there on September 15."

"On September 16, Dr Ashok Lathi, MS and consulting surgeon of the hospital advised my uncle to admit my aunt, which my uncle did. He suggested an open surgery, instead of a non–invasive laser or laparoscopic surgery. He said that if an open surgery was done, the stones would not break into little pieces and that would make the removal of these stones easier. He said the treatment would cost Rs 15,000 and asked for an advance of Rs 3,000."

Mystery Of The Missing Kidney
The Operation Drama
"On September 17, before the operation, the doctor took an undertaking from my uncle , but did not allow him to read it. At 3.30 pm, the operation began. It was done by Dr Lathi along with Dr Iqbal from KEM Hospital and Dr Butala, an anaesthesiologist. At 5.45 pm, Dr Lathi came out of the operation theatre and asked my uncle to come inside.

When my uncle entered the room, Dr Lathi showed him a big swab of cotton dripping with blood. He said a lot of blood had been lost and cotton was not enough to soak the flow. He also told my uncle that he had cut a vein by mistake and that the patient could only be saved by removing the kidney. My uncle was very worried and scared, and agreed as he was helpless. Dr Lathi brought a blank paper and asked my uncle to sign on it, saying it was an undertaking for the removal of the kidney."

Aroused Suspicion
"After the operation, my uncle was worried and told me and my cousin, Vishal Kalokhe, about the incident. We got suspicious and on September 18, I confronted Dr Lathi. I asked him for the pathology report, but he said it would take four days. We still have not got any report. I also asked for the haemoglobin report, which showed the level as 5. Before the operation, the doctor did not bother to conduct a blood test, a fitness test and so on. Besides, there was no blood bank in the hospital.

When I asked the doctor to show the kidney, he said it was not possible and that he had kept it in a chemical solution."

Later, Dr Lathi told him he had to leave for Udaipur and that he would check on the patient after he came back on September 30. "We demanded that my aunt be shifted to KEM Hospital so that she could be observed round the clock. But he declined. Instead, he said he would shift her to some Kale Hospital in Narayan Peth till the time he was out of station. Since, we didn’t know about this hospital, we did not agree and my aunt remained at Lathi."

Threats That Followed
Abhijit Kokane alleged that when Dr Lathi was away, his father–in–law came to visit them and threatened his aunt with "dire consequences if she didn’t vacate the hospital before Dr Lathi came back". But they stayed put.

Alleged Bribes
He also alleged that after Dr Lathi returned on September 30, he tried to bribe the family. "He asked us to settle the case. He accepted that he had cut a vein by mistake and told us we need not pay for the treatment. Instead, he promised a lifetime medical insurance for my aunt. He also promised that if my aunt was treated in any known hospital hereafter by an experienced doctor, he would pay for it. He agreed to say this on record and even sign a paper with his photo on it." Mirror has copies of the papers that the doctor allegedly signed.

Family Stood Firm
However, the family of the patient declined the offer. "When we denied and told him to put our aunt’s kidney back, he went to the extent of saying that he would give us his hospital or his place in Wagholi. He also offered Rs two lakh. But we turned down the offer. On October 2, Dr Lathi filed a complaint at the Narayan Peth Police chowky and we got a call from the police asking us to explain our side of the story. When I reached the chowky, PSI Huwal asked us to write an application.

I did that and submitted the copies to the ACP, DCP, PI and in the commissioner’s office on October 4, but nothing has happened yet and my aunt is still in the hospital. We suspect that the doctor may be involved in some kidney selling racket. We want justice."

Abhijit said that he has recorded the phone conversation that they had with Dr Lathi on his mobile phone.

When Pune Mirror spoke to Dr Lathi, he said, "I am ready to face any charges if I am proved guilty. But I deny all the allegations made against me. In fact, the Kalokhes forced me to sign on a document and I have reported the matter to the police."

Dr Deepa Diwekar, medical director, Sahyadri Hospital, said, "It is not mandatory to show the organ to the patient, but out of custom, we always show the removed organ after the surgery. Also, if a patient asks for the removed organ to be shown, we have to show it to them. After that, we have to send the particular organ for its pathology report."

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Source:Times of India