Abhaya Critical Care Hospital, in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh was the venue of a very rare surgery carried out recently.
The procedure known as debridement surgery, was performed in the region of the neck of a 36-year-old woman. It included the pre-vertebral space.
According to health experts, debridement surgery is generally performed on the limbs of diabetic patients. People with diabetes often develop foot ulcers (open sores on the feet that go through the skin), and these can lead to serious complications. Cleaning and removing dead tissue from the ulcers is a common procedure also known as "debridement".
Also, open wounds or ulcers cannot be properly evaluated until the dead tissue or foreign matter is removed. Wounds that contain necrotic (dead) tissue take longer to close and heal. This is because necrotic tissue provides an ideal growth medium for bacteria, especially for Bacteroides spp. and Clostridium perfringens.
Though a wound may not necessarily be infected, the bacteria can cause inflammation and strain the body's ability to fight infection. Debridement is also used to treat pockets of pus called abscesses.
In this particular case, performing such surgery in the neck region can be called very rare. According to Dr. K. Sita Rama Rao, the cranio-facial surgeon who performed the surgery, this kind of surgery has never been performed in Visakhapatnam before.
The patient who was identified as K. Parvathi, first complained of a severe pain in one of her molars. According to the doctors who treated her, pus was formed here and the infection moved then into the neck region and also the pre-vertebral space.
It was after a consultation with two doctors that she was referred to Dr. Sita Rama Rao. He pinpointed the condition to the disease known as necrotizing fasculitis (tissue becoming dead) and decided to conduct the surgery at the Abhaya Critical Care Hospital.
According to Rao, the surgery should be done with a lot of care in the pre-vertebral space as the cerotic artery passes below the muscle in this region. Fortunately for Parvathi, the infection did not reach lungs, where so there would have been little chance for her survival.
Though the entire lot of dead tissue was removed, doctors say Parvathi might have to undergo debridement surgery on a smaller scale twice or thrice. Once the dead tissue is completely removed and infection is eliminated, skin grating will have to follow.
The surgery was done three days ago and lasted three hours.