A seven-hour triple organ surgery was performed on a 45-year-old woman to fight tapeworm infection at a hospital in Faridabad off India's capital New Delhi, reports say.
Kamlesh from Aligarh in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh had developed septecaemia because of multiple hydatid cyst in the right lung, right lobe of liver and spleen.
AdvertisementSepticaemia conditions is known as 'Sepsis' for short. Its is an overload of bacteria in the blood stream resulting from infection in another part of the body such as the abdomen, urinary tract or the skin. The hydatid disease is a parasitic infestation by a tapeworm.Sepsis must be treated quickly as risk from death is high.
"Although operating on three organs in different locations is a high risk procedure, we decided to go ahead as any delay would have threatened her life," said Dr. Prabal Roy, head of surgery at the Fortis Escorts hospital.
The surgery involved removing two hydatid cysts from the lung, one from the liver by opening the diaphragm, and removing the spleen laparoscopically. The spleen had been destroyed completely. "We opted for a laparoscopic procedure to avoid multiple large incisions," said Roy, who was assisted by Dr Manu Shankar, Dr Avinash and Dr Shabnam Bashir.
The woman was referred to the hospital at a critical stage. She had difficulty in breathing and was vomiting blood. She also had complaints of severe chest and upper abdominal pain, doctors said.
"Operating on three vital organs positioned at different locations is a high risk procedure, but we opted for a one-stage surgery because we did not want to risk the infection to spread," says Dr Roy.
The hydatid cyst can get lodged in the brain, liver, lung and spleen. It can become life threatening if it ruptures. "Liver and lungs are usually infected but spleen infection are reported only in 1 to 2 per cent patients," Dr Roy explains.
The term 'tapeworm' describes a group of parasitic worms that live in the gut of animals, including humans. These infestations are found worldwide. They can be caused when humans consume raw or undercooked animal products that contain worm larvae (for beef or pork). Humans can also become infested after close contact with animals like cats and dogs.
A person who comes in contact with the faeces of an infected dog (that is, when eggs from the tapeworm are passed in the faeces) may develop hydatid disease. This is serious and potentially fatal. Infection with tapeworm eggs causes cysts to form in vital organs such as the liver and lungs.
In India, tapeworm infections are common in sheep-rearing communities in Kashmir, Andhra and Maharashtra, but it is rare in northern India.