Gangtok, Aug 1 (IPR)
In a complex and difficult operation, which lasted close to seven hours, Dr Choden Norbu,Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon ,Dr Tsewang Yougyal,Head and Neck Oncosurgeon and Dr Tshering Bhutia ,Oncosurgeon as the Surgical Team with able support from the Anesthesia team led by Dr Neelima Pradhan, removed a cancerous tumour from the cheek of a patient yesterday .This involved cutting away the tumor and surrounding skin, bone and teeth. The local lymph nodes also had to be removed. Following the removal of these structures ,the operated cheek had to be reconstructed by using a muscle flap from the patients chest wall which had to be mobilised by creating a tunnel below the patients skin and reposted at the site where the tumor was removed and thereby filling up the defect that was formed .This was painstakingly delicate and an intricate surgery. It was the first time such a difficult procedure was conducted in the new hospital.
The patient is doing well currently and should be discharged soon.
The operating team are pleased with their work. Carrying out such a difficult operation has boosted their confidence. They intend to continue tackling such skilful operations with the aim of benefiting the entire population of Sikkim and the surrounding areas.
This complex surgery is relevant to our region not only because it has been performed for the first time in the new hospital but also for the fact that such type of cancers constitute 30% of all tumors in India. In addition the traditional custom of betel nut chewing adds to the burden of such types of cancers being very prevalent in our region . Until recent times such patients had to be referred to tertiary cancer centers of Mumbai , Vellore , Kolkata ,but now with the appointment of trained Oncosurgeons, Reconstructive Surgeons and Medical Oncologists ,such patients will be provided with optimum cancer care in our the New STNM Hospital, thereby obviating such referrals to higher centres outside the state.