Imagine being not able to pass one morsel of food down your throat? In Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh lies a poor patient who can neither swallow nor drink water. On a liquid diet since one-and-half year, Komarelli Katkireddy (40) is fed through a tube externally connected to his stomach.
Komarelli is suffering from a peculiar ailment. His esophagus has been narrowing alongside the expansion of larynx, for the last three years. While initially, Komarelli was unable to swallow solid food he managed to consume liquids for some time. Later, the problem aggravated and he developed breathing problem. Approaching doctors of various corporate hospitals including NIMS, Hyderabad, proved to be in vain. The doctors provided a tracheal tube on his neck for breathing and inserted an external feeding tube to his stomach for the supply of liquid food.
Reduced to being penniless, Komarelli a jeep driver has already spent more than Rs. 2 lakh on his treatment by incurring huge debts. Now he is jobless too, due to his ill-health. His wife Sarojana runs the family by working as a servant maid but it has become a tough task, as she has to feed her husband with liquid diet only and also take care of her three children.
Sarojana has appealed to the administration to take measures to provide medical aid to her husband, as well as a house under Indiramma scheme to eke out their livelihood. The entire family will be forced to commit suicide if the Government fails to provide assistance, Sarojana lamented.
One among many reasons of oesophageal narrowing is due to formation of a stricture. It could be caused by scarring resultant of acid irritation. Narrowing of the oesophagus could also be attributed to chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Several procedures are available for stretching (dilating) the strictures without having to resort to surgery. One of the procedures involves placing a deflated balloon across the stricture at the time of endoscopy. The balloon is then inflated, thereby opening the narrowing caused by the stricture. Another method involves inserting tapered dilators of different sizes through the mouth into the oesophagus to dilate the stricture.