New Delhi: With 85 per cent of his heart not functioning, a 69-year-old man underwent an emergency spinal surgery in a Delhi-based hospital, according to doctors.
Dharam Pal was struggling with severe pain in his limbs with retention of urine for the past four months. During the period, he was unable not only to walk due to acute pain and weakness in his limbs, but also had lost bowel and bladder functions.
Mr Pal had a history of undergoing bypass surgeries. Four years ago, he had suffered multiple episodes of heart attacks. His heart condition further deteriorated due to his present condition.
Mr Pal had weakness in his right lower limb and had developed contractures in the right ankle, limiting physical movement completely.
“The patient also suffered from diabetes and hypertension, which complicated the matter further. We conducted an MRI and found that the patient suffered from large extruded L4-L5 slip disc with lumbar canal stenosis, which put extreme pressure on the nerves passing through the spinal cord. Also, a host of associated complications made him a challenging case for surgery,” said Dr Gururaj Sangondimath, consultant and unit head, department of spine surgery, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC).
The patient was in extreme pain and was taken up for emergency surgery, he added. “With only 15 per cent of his heart functioning, the patient had very low chances of survival. The pain had grown so severe that the patient opted for a surgery despite risk to his life. After due consultation and explaining the matter to his family members, the final decision of performing the L4-L5 discectomy and fusion surgery was taken and conducted,” said anaesthesiologist Dr P.R. Chauhan.
“There are very few cases in the world where operations performed on a patient whose heart functioned (15 per cent) were successful,” he added.
Mr Pal underwent a two-hour-long surgery, and was kept under observation in the ICU. After the surgery,m Mr Pal was relieved of his leg pain, said the hospital doctors.