Sixty-seven-year-old Rajendra Sanghvi and his family members were treated for obesity and severe spinal issues through micro-endoscopic decompression surgery in Mumbai, doctors said on Saturday.
It began when Sanghvi, who had a history of back pain, complained of numbness in his both lower limbs. He was later diagnosed with lumbar canal stenosis, which meant narrowing of the spinal canal and compression on the leg's nerve.
Though he knew that surgery was the only solution, Sanghvi could not undergo the surgery due to the precision complications and lengthy hospital stay followed by a slow recovery.
Doctors suggested Sanghvi undergo micro-endoscopic decompression surgery, a process in which a specialized tubular retractor is used for the opening up the spinal canal and making the nerves free. Therefore, he was admitted to the city-based Mumbai Spinal Scoliosis and Displacement Center.
The surgery was done using an 18 mm incision (key-hole) with tubular retractors with minimal tissue trauma and blood loss. The patient had complete pain relief, started walking after surgery and was discharged the next day.
Because he was completely satisfied with the surgery and its recovery time, Sanghvi also brought his wife Kantiben after six months. She too faced the complications of obesity. Micro-endoscopic decompression surgery proved to be beneficial for Kantiben too, who experienced 100% pain relief.
Two years later, the couple's son also underwent the same surgery for a slipped-disc with 100% results. Health experts say that the surgery is highly beneficial for the patients above 65 years.
"Micro-endoscopic decompression surgery is highly beneficial for the patients with lumbar canal stenosis. The biggest advantage of this surgery is that the scar is hardly 1.5-2 cm long and appears like an ordinary scratch unlike a long ugly scar after laminectomy," said Dr. Arvind Kulkarni, head of Mumbai Spinal Scoliosis and Displacement Center.
He said that since there is no muscle or bony trauma, the contours of the back are well preserved. Besides, he also said that since the tissue trauma is so minimal, there is no stress on the patient's metabolic functions, unlike after a bigger surgery with significant tissue trauma.
"The dependence of the patient on pain-killers post-surgery is absolutely minimal compared to a normal surgery. In fact, patients do not express any experience any pain after a few hours of surgery," Kulkarni said. "In obese patients, surgery makes a big difference. Obese patients have wound healing problems and the spine is also quite deep. A long incision is otherwise needed to reach depths of 6-7 cm. The entire procedure can be done using a keyhole in these patients," he added.