Commander Kehar Singh an Octogenarian had also put Dr. Vandana Jain and her team’s creativity to test at Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute at Sanpada, Navi Mumbai. Commander Singh was once an athlete and used to actively compete with Milkha Singh and was crowned Mr. Cochin. He is suffering from a condition called tracheal stenosis where his main airway got extremely narrow. Additionally, his airway would collapse and get blocked whenever he lies down. Cdr. Singh has to resort to a positive airway pressure wherein a machine increases the air pressure in the air passage during sleep thus preventing its collapse. Besides this, he has to sleep on his side as he cannot lie down on his back for more than a few minutes without getting breathless. An emergency tracheostomy (an artificial opening in trachea to get airway assess) was made in 1966 after a road traffic accident to get access to his airway. Subsequently he developed narrowing of the airway and developed difficulty in breathing.
When Cdr. Singh developed diminished vision and was diagnosed to have cataract, he visited top eye hospitals in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai. During the course of a normal Cataract Surgery, a patient has to lie down on his back and a surgical drape is placed over the person’s face so as to prevent the spread of infection. However, Cdr. Singh’s particular condition made it literally impossible for him to lie down in flat position on an operation theatre table. He would get breathless and sit up in just a few minutes, making it impossible to perform the surgery. Cdr. Singh was taken into operation theatre and was taken out without having the Cataract Surgery in Mumbai. The same story got repeated at 2 other eye hospitals in Vashi and Nerul and there seemed to be no hope for him to be able to see clearly.
One day, Cdr. Singh got to know about how Advanced Eye Hospital in Sanpada had performed cataract surgery on a businessman with very curved backbone. Though having a different physical barrier, this businessman’s story was eerily similar to Cdr. Singh’s. Seeing a ray of light, Cdr. Singh had his son enquire about this eye hospital in Sanpada. To his delight, the Cornea & Cataract surgeon Dr. Vandana Jain was very open to taking up the challenge.
An ENT Surgeon, Dr. Samir Bhobe at Vashi, was consulted and the team discussed the case at length trying to overcome the challenges imposed by Cdr. Singh’s condition and an action plan was made for the day of surgery. As a first step, Cdr. Singh was given medications through nose (nebulisation) in an attempt to keep his airways open for an hour prior to the surgery. He was then propped up on the operating table at a 45 degrees angle. Surgeon, Dr. Vandana Jain, first tried to perform the surgery in a standing position but was unable to reach the microscope to get proper focus of the patient’s eye. She then sat on a very high stool. Additionally, the foot pedal for the cataract surgery machine and the microscope controls were also placed on the stools so that her foot could reach the pedals. She was forced to bend forward at an angle of 45-60 to be able to reach the patient’s eye and perform the surgery safely. 15 minutes later, Cdr. Kehar Singh emerged from the operation theatre with a clear new lens in his eyes and a huge smile on his face. He was finally rid of his right eye’s cataract and could not wait to undergo the surgery for his other eye!
According to Dr. Jain, “Though cataract surgery has become commonplace, it is cases like these which make us look at the body as a whole. Sometimes physical limitations imposed by the rest of the body make access to eye difficult. A little innovation, teamwork, and personalised care helped the team at advanced eye hospital to give clear vision back to Cdr. Singh. Innovation is in Indian blood. As doctors prior to cataract surgery we need to focus on patient’s requirements, physical and medical condition and then work around those things with small innovations. This goes a long way to best manage the cataract patient with quick surgery, no complications and fast recovery.”
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True, sometimes good old creativity and the zeal to turn the impossible into reality go a long way rather than only the surgical skills and technological advances!
About Dr Vandana Jain-
Dr. Vandana Jain is a renowned Cornea, Lasik and Cataract surgeon and the Managing Director of AEHI. Dr. Jain has won best fellow awards and gold medals at Delhi University and L.V. Prasad Eye Institute and then further trained at Harvard, USA. Having performed more than 10,000 phaco cataract operations, she has vast experience of dealing with all kinds of complicated cataract surgeries. According to her, cataract surgery needs to be customised to the patient’s needs and physical disability. She additionally believes that team work and alliance with other specialists help in planning and giving the best cataract surgery results to the patients.
About Cataract surgery Centre
Cataract Surgery Centre at Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute in Navi Mumbai, India is one of the best cataract eye surgery hospitals in India. Diagnostic suits for pre-surgery measurements and check-up and the operation theatres are state-of-art and equipped with the best cataract eye surgery machines. Personalized care, infection free modular operation theatres and beautiful ambiance complement the cutting-edge eye care offered at AEHI. Besides treating patients from Kharghar, Nerul, Vashi and Panvel, patients from all over western India travel to AEHI for world class cataract treatment.
If anyone in your family or you, yourself, needs evaluation for cataract, please call us at 02267313636, we are open from Monday- Saturday 9:30am-7pm.