In a rare surgery, doctors in the capital have successfully reconstructed the anus of a two-day-old baby girl who was born without the organ.
In one of the first procedures of its kind in India, the baby from a slum cluster in nearby Gurgaon was given a new lease of life by doctors at the Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) last week after private nursing homes turned her away.
"Though the baby was not underweight, she was lacking the vital organ. We examined and operated upon her successfully at one stretch," said Yogesh Sarin, head of department, paediatrics surgery.
"As the child was only two days old, we had to be extra careful. The pelvic muscle was divided in the middle and the rectum was mobilised. We made the hole at the required place and the child is now defecating through the reconstructed organ," Sarin told IANS.
A team of five doctors led by Sarin conducted the surgery, medically known as posterior sagittal anorectoplasty, within an hour.
"We are closely monitoring her development and will hopefully discharge her by the weekend," Sarin explained.
An added complication was the baby developing meningitis as she was delivered at home - over 50 percent of childbirths in India happen at home, the doctor said.
"The unhygienic surroundings led to her getting meningitis. But we have given her medicine and she is stable now."
Giving details on the surgery, Sarin said the procedure was earlier done in three stages. First, create a hole in the belly for passing faeces; second, reconstruct the anus and third, close the hole and open up the anus.
"But this takes a longer time and we have therefore started such operations in the last few weeks in India," Sarin said, adding that the procedure was easier with infants.
The baby's father Deepu Das, a 21-year-old domestic worker, recounted how other nursing homes had turned them away.
"After the delivery, we found something wrong with our daughter. We took her to a couple of private nursing homes in Gurgaon but they refused to help."
"One doctor referred us to MAMC and doctors here treated my baby very nicely. Sarin Sahebhelped and operated our daughter and now she is recovering," said the thankful father.
According to Vivek Manchanda, another doctor at the medical college, the reason behind such abnormalities was yet to be known. It could only be said that the deformities occurred during pregnancy.
"The foetus grows normally but somewhere it goes wrong. Medical science is yet to zero in on a definite point," he said.