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Aster Medcity, Kochi Gives a New Lease of Life to a 27-Year-Old from Lakshadweep

In Health
October 28, 2022

A 27-year-old woman from Lakshadweep, was in a near state of starvation due to a swallowing difficulty for almost 21 years. In layman’s parlance, there was a block in her food pipe, medically the condition is called Achalasia Cardia. Marjana is finally on the road to recovery after undergoing a novel procedure called Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM) at Aster Medcity, Kochi. Her agony of 21 years was terminated in a procedure that took just 90 minutes to complete. A better nourished Marjana, was discharged on the third day after an uneventful post recovery phase. Marjana, daughter of Kunjikkoya and Kunjabee hails from Amini island in Lakshadweep will return to her hometown by the end of the month.

For the past 21 years, Marjana has been experiencing the feeling of food getting stuck in her throat, difficulty in swallowing, and frequent vomiting. So severe were her symptoms that she had to discontinue schooling after Grade 2. The lack of food and nutrients has resulted in general debilitation. Mobility became a cause of concern as her limbs shrunk.

“Over the years we have taken Marjana to multiple hospitals through the state of Kerala since she first displayed symptoms at the age of six”, says Muhammad Kasim, brother of Marjana. “She was on numerous medication protocols, but received no long term succour.We were always sent back home with the verdict that it was digestion issues. But her health was declining day by day” added Muhammad lamenting the years of hardship endured by the family.

On endoscopy, it was found that food had accumulated along the length of the oesophagus which damaged the oesophagus structurally. Radiography showed a dilated oesophagus that was pushed to the right side from its normal left side due to the long-standing symptoms.

Drs Ismail Siyad and Jeffey George – Consultants in the Gastroenterology Department of Aster Medcity, Kochi worked up the patient and confirmed the rare condition of Achalasia Cardia.

Achalasia Cardia is caused by damage of nerves of the oesophagus responsible for the change in its calibre resulting in a chronic tightening of its muscles. Due to the inability of the musculature to relax, food remained in the oesophagus passing to the stomach slowly and occasionally. As the patient was grossly underweight at 26 kg,the option of a relatively new advanced endoscopic procedure named Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM)was resorted to. This is a minimally invasive treatment with the added advantage of minimal post-procedure hospitalization.The procedure is an advanced one, requiring immense skill and currently carried out only at a few centres in India.

“Our team is extremely pleased to have successfully performed this procedure which changed the course of a patient’s life for the better. This was challenging for us, as the patient has been suffering from long drawn out symptoms for over 21 years says Dr. Jeffey George, Consultant Gastroenterology, Aster Medcity, Kochi who was instrumental in taking the lead in treating Marjana.

“When the patient was brought to us, she was very weak and it was a life-threatening condition, which we were able to diagnose in our initial sittings. We are extremely happy and proud of what we have accomplished,” says Dr. G N Ramesh, Senior Consultant and Department Head Gastroenterology, Aster Medcity Kochi.

Dr. Prashant M, Consultant – Medical Gastroenterology and Dr. Jeby Jacob, Senior Specialist – Medical Gastroenterology, Aster Medcity Kochi were other doctors who were part of the Gastroenterology team involved in the treatment. The anesthesia team led by Dr. Suresh G Nair, Head and Senior Consultant, Anaesthesiology and Critical Care administered necessary support throughout the procedure.

“We believe in expertise and quality. With the state-of-the-art advanced facilities, we offer in Aster Medcity, even a rare disorder like Achalasia Cardia can be successfully treated. We are happy we could revive the hope of a family,” says Farhan Yasin, Regional Director of Aster Hospital, -Kerala & Oman Cluster.

An expert medical team from Aster Hospitals, Kerala will organize the first medical camp in Lakshadweep on November 30. Through this, the needy patients will be identified and brought to Kerala and given all the necessary assistance for their treatment. It is planned to organize more medical camps like this in the future with the support of Aster Volunteers, the global CSR wing of Aster DM Healthcare.

Muhammad Kasim, brother of Marjana, Dr. Jeffey George, Consultant Gastroenterology, Aster Medcity Kochi, Dr. G N Ramesh, Senior Consultant, and Department Head Gastroenterology, Aster Medcity Kochi, Dr. B Mohammed Noufal, Consultant, Medical Gastroenterology, Aster Medcity Kochi and Farhan Yasin, Regional Director of Aster Hospitals -Kerala & Oman Cluster attended the press conference.