Shiv Kumar Devi had been suffering from persistent abdominal pain and jaundice for more than 6 months. She couldn’t eat ell and neither could do her daily chores. Post consulting doctors in Bihar , it was concluded that she is suffering from Jaundice and Pancreatic Cancer. “ We are simple people. Words like Cancer seem like a death sentence. I was prepared to face the worst,” shares Shiv. However her son who works in Maruti, Gurgaon refused to accept fate. He brought his mother to Gurgaon for specialised medical care. “ Although the doctors in Bihar told me that your mother’s treatment is difficult, I refused to believe them. I have been associated with Paras Gurgaon for many years and hence decided to consult specialists there for second opinion,” highlights Shiv Kumar’s son.
Post consultation with Sr. Consultant GI Surgery, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon , the provisional diagnosis was – Cancer of head of pancreas. The CT Scan confirmed the same, however pancreatic cancer could not be confirmed. Ruling the same as a case of chronic pancreatitis, GI Surgeon recommended surgery to relieve the patient of the pain. “ It was a peculiar case in which the CT Scan was not able to tell us much. Her symptoms highlighted that she was in chronic pain and needed medical attention. Also surgery at her age can usually become complicated sue to co – morbidity and other age related factors. However, post-consultation with the family, we decided to go ahead with Biliary bypass and a gastric bypass to treat the pain and remove the cancer located in the head of the pancreas. We confirmed the same through a biopsy sample.”
However during surgery, something un expected happened. The pancreas that were considered cancerous showed no signs of tumors. It was just an abnormal growth of the pancreas. Post operation in recovery the patient started to show signs of abdominal distension – gas and fluid started to fill in the stomach, giving the feeling of a bloated stomach, medically highlighting sepsis or infection. A CT Scan suggested that another exploratory surgery needs to be done.She had developed intraabdominal collection probably as a result of post operative pancreatic fistula.
According to Shiv Kumar’s son , “ They were the most difficult days of our life. Getting through one surgery was enough , but the thought of my old mother going through another scared me. I discussed my fears with Doctor. He explained the urgency and the need to perform the procedure on immediate basis. The decision was already made, however the re-assurance of the doctor gave me and my family strength.”
During surgery the fluid in the abdominal cavity was drained however later it was discovered that the patient had developed a pancreatic fistula – leakage of pancreatic secretions from damaged pancreatic ducts. This included extensive medical attention and intensive post operative care. Team of doctors and ICU nurses delivered special care and attention to the patient. “ It was like fighting everyday and with the patient so weak, we as doctors are to fight on their behalf. We don’t have the choice of giving up, after all patients and their family members look up to us for strength. We have to make them believe that they will overcome every pain and disease that is stopping them to live again,” Surgeon team.
On the 10th day in recovery, Shiv Kumar showed signs of improvement. She started to accept oral diet. Gradually she became better and was discharged. Over the last month she has been frequently visiting the doctor and following is prescribed medical regime. Today she is healthy, has a normal diet and most importantly is pain free.
You ask her, how she feels, she says, “ Victorious ! It’s as if I have come back from the jaws of death. But i couldn’t have done it without the team of doctors and my son. After all doctors are God’s and only he can decide when I am ready to leave.”