On National Plastic Surgery Day (July 15), PGIMER held an interactive session with people whose lives were transformed with the help of plastic surgery.
“I did not realise what had happened to me until I saw my scalp inside an ice bag. For a second I thought that I would not survive, but because I was in PGI, I had some hope,” said 30-year-old Deepali who was rushed to the Advanced Trauma Centre of PGI last year when her hair and scalp were ripped off in an accident.
She added, “My operation lasted for seven hours. If I am alive today, it is because of the doctors from the plastic surgery department.”
Deepali underwent two surgeries that replaced the damaged skin using grafts from her legs. Today, she has only light marks on her nose.
In November 2011, 22-year-old Neha Thakur was returning home from her office, when a former colleague threw acid on her. The upper left side of her body got disfigured in the incident.
She was rushed to GMCH-32, but doctors could not help her much. After a month, she was referred to PGIMER.
“So far, I have undergone five major and 10 minor surgeries. The acid attack had left me with scarred face and body. Before undergoing treatment at PGI, it was very difficult for me to move out of my house. People used to look at me and make faces. But now, things are improving,” said Neha.
She added, “I am regaining my confidence. The only difficulty which I am facing is that nobody is offering me a job. I used to be an independent woman, but the incident has made me a burden on my family.”
Among the participants, the oldest patient was 38-year-old Navdeep Kochar. He was born with a facial deformity and has been undergoing surgeries since he was one-year-old.
“I must have undergone more than 15 surgeries so far. Earlier, people used to stare at my disfigurement, but today nobody notices me. I am just like another ordinary man and the credit goes to the doctors of this department,” said Kochar, who works with Punjab Police.
Dr Ramesh Sharma from PGI said the purpose of organising the session was to convey to the general public that plastic surgery was not only for the elite but also for the common man.
“Such interactions provide us an insight into the psyche as well as the expectations of the patients. This will help to improve the services at PGI,” he added.