New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) Two patients who accidentally ingested sanitiser mistaking it for water, rendering them unable to swallow food and water for months, were given a new lease of life after doctors at Fortis Hospital here performed an oesophageal reconstructive surgery.
A 24-year-old boy, hailing from Karnataka accidentally ingested sanitiser four months back. Treatment at local hospital inserted a pipe in his intestine and he was fed with liquids via the pipe.
On admission at Fortis Shalimar Bagh, he was found to have complete scarring and obstruction of the entire food pipe and portion of the small intestine and stomach. Doctors performed a reconstructive surgery, where a portion of his small and large intestine was used to create a new food pipe.
The surgery lasted for more than five hours post which the patient was kept under observation. The patient has recovered very well and is now able to eat normal food, said Dr Amit Javed, Director, Laparoscopic and Minimal Access Surgery, Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj and Shalimar Bagh, in a statement.
In a separate case, a 20-year-old girl from Kashmir, also ingested sanitiser accidentally. She was even unable to swallow her saliva, and had become emaciated from malnutrition and lost a lot of weight.
Her survival was dependent on glucose which was being given to her intravenously.
The challenging surgery lasted for more than six hours as the patient suffered from severe burns and scarring in her throat and stricture (an abnormal tightening of the oesophagus) in her food pipe. Doctors reconstructed a new food passage by using a part of her stomach and intestine.
She has recovered well, the doctor said.
According to Javed, an oesophageal reconstructive surgery done by the laparoscopic technique can be a hope for patients with damaged food pipes.
“Corrosives are irritant substances which when ingested either intentionally or by accident results in severe burns of the oesophagus (food pipe) and the stomach. Early symptoms include difficulty in breathing, hoarseness of voice, mouth and throat pain, drooling of saliva, vomiting and abdominal pain. In severe cases, there can be perforation of the oesophagus and the stomach,” Javed explained.
However, as the acute injury heals, there are formation of strictures, which results in narrowing of the food passage and leads to obstruction. The unfortunate patient is unable to eat food and drink water. In severe cases, the patient is unable to swallow their own saliva.
The treatment involves initial sessions of endoscopic dilatations.
“In patients who have tight strictures, long length of strictures or in those where endoscopic dilatation is not successful, a surgery is done to create a new food pipe. This new food pipe can be reconstructed using either the stomach or portion of the large intestine. It is a complex surgery. We routinely perform this surgery by the laparoscopic technique which results in excellent functional results and very good cosmesis. The patient is able to eat and drink a normal diet,” Javed said.