It started with a simple cough, sore throat and hoarseness of voice. Within two months, however, Navneet Singh Taneja, 72, lost his voice altogether.
After numerous visits to ENT specialists, Taneja, a newspaper dealer, was finally diagnosed with aneurism — a key artery that supplied blood to the brain had swelled to three times its normal size.
“The aneurism in the artery was 7.5 cm in size against a normal blood vessel size of 2.2 cm. It was bulging so much that it was stretching a nerve that passes over the artery. This nerve, which goes up to the voice box, lost its function progressively, which led to the patient’s throat symptoms and loss of voice,” Dr V S Bedi, chairman of vascular and endovascular surgery at Sir Ganga Ram hospital, said.
Taneja’s daughter Poonam Singh said had her father not lost his voice, the family would never have taken a common cold so seriously. “He had simple fever and cough, so we took him to a general practitioner, who prescribed some antibiotics. It is scary that within days my father could not speak… even when he tried, no sound came out,” Poonam said.
For two months, the family shuttled between three hospitals for a diagnosis. “Doctors suspected cancer after they could not identify any ENT problems. It was after several tests over two-three months when a simple CT scan revealed his aneurism,” Poonam said.
Doctors said the aneurism was bulging so much that without surgery, there was a threat of it bursting and its critical position over the sub-clavian artery, which supplies blood to the left side of the brain, meant it was cutting off blood supply to Taneja’s brain.
“The aneurism could have ruptured any moment, which might have been fatal, so it had to be dealt with urgently. Other blood vessels were completely obstructed, another artery was half-blocked. This meant that the blood circulation to his brain was severely compromised and was largely dependent on a single artery,” Dr Bedi said.
Doctors used minimally invasive endovascular technique using a stent graft. Poonam said his father started talking within hours of the surgery.