Baby with thin diaphragm makes miraculous recovery

Aug 16, 2012, 06:54 IST | Naveen Nair

He didn't even need ventilator support, which is usually an absolute must for other patients of eventration of left hemidiaphragm, and was discharged five days after surgery

It started out as a cold, but when it stubbornly held on to the three-month-old infant for over a week, his parents rushed him to KEM hospital, where he was diagnosed with a rare condition — eventration of left hemidiaphragm — that had displaced some of his organs and caused them to push against his lungs and heart.

Karthik Amit Mishra
Small wonder: Three-month-old Karthik Amit Mishra was diagnosed with the rare condition when doctors ordered a CT scan to learn why he was suffering from a prolonged bout of cold; (below) the X-ray plate that helped doctors diagnose the condition. Pics/Anita Anand

At KEM hospital, doctors informed the child’s family that an immediate surgery was required to save the baby, after which he would be kept on ventilator support in the ICU. But the pint-sized fighter made such a miraculous recovery within five days of surgery that he didn’t even need the ventilator support that is required in most cases.

X-ray plate

In fact, he was discharged five days after the surgery. Karthik Amit Mishra, born on May 13 earlier this year, was a happy, healthy child till a severe bout of cold struck him a couple of weeks ago. Karthik’s father Amit Mishra, who is employed with a leading pharmaceutical company, consulted a local pediatrician, who prescribed medicines for a regular cold after examining Karthik.

A week passed, but the infant’s cold still refused to subside, and he started experiencing breathing problems. Worried, Amit rushed him to a well-known pediatrician in the city, who advised them to get a CT scan and sonography for their infant.

The results were shocking — the CT scan revealed that Karthik was suffering from eventration of left hemidiaphragm. The infant’s diaphragm was too thin, as a result of which the liver, spleen, small and large bowel had pushed into the left hemithorax, suppressing his left lung and also pushing his heart to the right side.

Amit Mishra said, “My son was born healthy and had no medical problems until he contracted the cold last month. When the CT scan reports revealed the real problem, we were really worried about his health. I decided to get him operated on at a private hospital but my relatives convinced me to check with the doctors at KEM hospital before taking any decision. When we arrived at KEM, the doctors advised us to admit Karthik as immediate surgery was required.”

Karthik was admitted on August 1, and though the surgery was initially scheduled for the next day, it was eventually postponed to August 9. A team of specialists conducted a three hour-long surgery, following which Karthik was shifted to the ICU for five days before being discharged on Tuesday this week.

The doctors were surprised at the speedy recovery made by the baby, who also responded well to the medicines after his surgery. Dr Sanjay Oak, dean of KEM hospital who conducted the surgery, said, “I am sure that now the baby will not have recurrent bouts of pneumonia and will grow well. I am thankful to my anaesthetist and surgical colleagues.”

Karthik is now recovering well at his Vikhroli residence, and hasn’t shown any sign of his earlier medical problems. The Mishras are so happy to have their son back home in the pink of health that they are willing to contribute a monetary sum towards KEM hospital.

Dr Ketan Parikh, a paediatric surgeon, said, “Such cases occur in one of 3,000 babies, where surgery is required. Some babies are born with this condition while few of them develop this condition as they grow. In some cases a ventilator support is required both before and after surgery.” 

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