City doctors conduct rare brain surgery on Iraqi boy

With one of the four main arteries to his brain blocked and already having suffered a stroke while at home in Iraq,14-year-old Ahmed did not pin his hopes high when he arrived in the Capital for treatment.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:December 23, 2009 1:47 am

With one of the four main arteries to his brain blocked and already having suffered a stroke while at home in Iraq,14-year-old Ahmed did not pin his hopes high when he arrived in the Capital for treatment.

On Tuesday,treated of the rare illness by city doctors,Ahmed was looking forward to a healthy life.

Ahmed was brought to Indraprasatha Apollo Hospital with a very large aneurysm (see box) in one of the four main arteries of the brain and also the entire length of the artery was abnormal.

Dr Pranav Kumar,neurosurgeon who along with a multi-disciplinary team of doctors from Indraprasatha Apollo Hospitals operated upon Ahmed,said,“The boy had already suffered a stroke and was suffering from weakness of right side of his body and slurred speech. The aneurysm was like a ticking time-bomb,capable of bursting anytime causing massive brain haemorrhage. Though a brain bypass surgery is a rare procedure,we could not wait as the patient could die anytime.”

The human brain needs an uninterrupted supply of large amounts of blood to perform its multitude of complex functions. The blood is supplied through four arteries.

Dr Harsh Rastogi,neuro-interventionist,Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals,said, “In many of us,even if one of these four arteries is blocked over a period of time due to some disease,the remaining three arteries take over the extra load and succeed in maintaining normal blood supply to entire brain.

“For Ahmed,the diseased artery had to be blocked immediately. However,preliminary tests revealed that the brain could not have tolerated closure of this abnormal artery.”

The doctors first decided to connect a small artery from Ahmed’s face with an artery in his brain. Dr Shahin Nooreyezdan,plastic and reconstructive surgeon,said: “In first stage of the treatment,a delicate bypass surgery was carried out on his brain successfully. In this operation,a small artery from his face was connected to one of the fine arteries in the brain. This augmented the brain’s blood supply,allowing us to work on the blocked artery.”

In another procedure,conducted a week later,the neuro-interventionist successfully blocked the brain’s abnormal,diseased artery. “The treatment has defused the time-bomb. Subsequent tests have confirmed normal blood supply to the brain,despite one of the four natural arteries having been blocked” Dr Rastogi said.

What is aneurysm?
An aneurysm is a localised,blood-filled dilation (balloon-like bulge) of a blood vessel caused by a disease or weakening of the vessel wall. Aneurysms most commonly occur in arteries at the base of the brain and in the aorta (the main artery coming out of the heart). As the size of an aneurysm increases,there is an increased risk of rupture,which can result in severe hemorrhage or other complications including sudden death.

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