In a miraculous operation that lasted nine hours, doctors used deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA), a surgical technique. This technique reduces the body temperature to 15 degrees Celsius to remove a 200-gram cancerous tumour that has grown inside and outside of a two-year-old boy’s heart.
He is Aadhi Thoppil Fabeer who was declared clinically dead as a team of 30 doctors operated upon him. The operation is about the removal of intra-cardiac yolk sac germ cell tumour in the heart. This was one of the extremely rare conditions. Generally, the yolk sac tissue develops on the third day of pregnancy and it usually gets dissolved within a month. But in this case, the tissue developed into a cancerous tumour.
During the operation, Aadhi’s heartbeat and his brain activity were stopped for 40 minutes. According to the medical conditions, a normal human body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius and humans quickly die if the core body temperature drops below 22 degrees Celsius.
“The surgery was the fifth such successful surgery performed in the world. In all the four other cases, the tumour was reported inside the heart but in this case the tumour was inside and on the surface of the heart,” said Dr M K Mossa Kunhi, head of department, cardiac surgery and heart transplantation, VPS Lakeshore, who led the team of doctors that operated on the boy.
Rare Operation Lasted 9 Hours:
“It is a very rare condition and I have not seen one such case in my career. It is an extremely difficult surgery to perform as the tumour infiltrates the heart muscle and comes out. Chemotherapy will help burn residual tumour if any,” said Lisie Hospital’s cardiac surgeon Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram.
This was detected when Aadhi suffered severe fever recently. His parents took him to a hospital in Dubai where they stay. “The patient was brought in a critical condition here with 95% blood circulation blocked by a tumour. The child was breathless and we suspect that he developed the tumour during intrauterine life. We operated him on Eid day and now he is doing fine. He needs chemotherapy course once in three weeks about 3 to 4 times. He was given this first chemo course on Saturday,” Dr Kunhi said.
Aadhi’s mother, Merin Fabeer, said that though the Dubai doctors had denied permission to travel, she and her husband had flown Aadhi to Kochi. “Our efforts have paid off and now he is recovering,” she said.