Baby Eliza to undergo urgent brain surgery next week
mid-day follow-up >>Nagpur neurosurgeon says Eliza's brain is severely damaged and the only solution now is to do shunting to drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid
Baby Eliza Waghmare will finally receive the medical care she needs. She will undergo surgery at the Central India Institute of Medical Sciences (CIIMS) Nagpur on February 22.
Eliza was examined by well-known neurosurgeon Dr Lokendra Singh on Wednesday, who informed her parents that her brain is severely damaged and the only solution now is to do an urgent ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunting, to drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Speaking to mid-day, Dr Singh, said, "The protein level in the Eliza's CSF is very high presently, so the only option before us is to carry out the surgery and remove the Ommaya reservoir that had been inserted earlier." The VP shunting is done to drain out excess CSF to the abdominal cavity. The method is usually adopted to divert CSF for anyone suffering from hydrocephalus. The estimated cost of the surgery is Rs 75,000.
Highly risky to tap
Dr Singh added, "The skin around her scalp where the reservoir has been inserted has already become very weak due to continuous puncturing with needles for regular tapping of CSF. It would be highly risky to continue tapping CSF any further, as there are chances of infections causing meningitis or ventriculitis."
Given the circumstances, can her parents continue extracting CSF until the surgery? Dr Singh replied in the affirmative, stating, "I am out of Nagpur until February 21 and I was keen on getting the surgery done before I leave, but the parents are concerned about Eliza's post-operative care in my absence and therefore they have suggested that the surgery be done once I'm back. I have asked them to continue extracting CSF only if it is required," said Dr Singh.
Doing everything for her
Dr Shashank Joshi, the consulting neurosurgeon from Mumbai who had treated Eliza in Cooper hospital, said, "At this juncture, our priority is to save Eliza's life, and shunting will help reduce the CSF pressure. We won't be able to make any statement at this stage on the developmental factors of her brain or the extent of damage the congenital hydrocephalus might have on her as she grows bigger."
Eliza's father Anand said, "We are also concerned about Eliza's vision. Her treating doctors at KEM said she might develop partial blindness due to the ailment. We haven't consulted any ophthalmologists so far. We are doing everything possible to save her, and with no salary from AIESL, it is becoming a bit difficult."
Anand has stopped reporting to work at AIESL, Nagpur since Monday due to Eliza's deteriorating health. "I have intimated my office through e-mail about my circumstances for taking leave. As expected, I haven't received any reply from them," he said. Meanwhile, Anand's advocate Rajeshwar Panchal has moved all papers pertaining to the case to his counterpart practicing in the Supreme Court. Panchal said, "As per the new rule, the SC has to take a matter on board within seven days from the petition being filed. We are awaiting the Bombay High Court order dismissing Anand's petition, which will be challenged in the apex court soon."
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