Life-saving surgery on woman suffering from tapeworm disease performed



NewZNew (Chandigarh) : In a significant development, Max Super Specialty Hospital (MSSH) , Mohali has performed a life-saving upon a woman who was suffering from tapeworm disease of lungs and liver. Satinderjeet Kaur (54) from Nangal who was completely oblivious about this fatal disease, had approached MSSH with complains of shortness of breath, cough and generalized weakness. She was diagnosed with ‘Hydatid Cyst Disease’ (HCD) . She was treated by Dr KS Dhillon, Sr. Consultant- Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery Specialist who performed a very challenging surgery laparoscopically.

Addressing a press conference at  a hotel in Sector 43, Chandigarh today , Dr Dhillon said that the woman had a 8-cm Hydatid cyst in the right lung and a 12-cm hydatid cyst in the liver. Dr Dhillon & his team operated both on lung and liver laparoscopically and thoracoscopically at the same time . In this technique very small keyhole punctures are made and the whole surgery is done through them. Whereas under conventionally surgery procedure an open incisions (large cuts) of 15 to 20 cms is made. In this conventional method, the chest and many times ribs also are cut by a large incision along with a cut in the diaphragm.

Elaborating on this advanced surgery Dr Dhillon said that it involved total removal of the cyst and the daughter worms and the suction of the fluid in the cyst cavity .Special chemicals were used to wash the cavity to kill any residual worms . If not handled diligently, severe reactions known to occur during surgery could be fatal. The patient was discharged satisfactorily after 3-day as the cuts were less than 1cm.


Elucidating the risks of an open surgery in HCD, Dr Dhillon said that liver and lungs were very delicate and vital organs and any surgery on them was a risky and complex. The patients would require post-operative stay of 12 – 15 days along with post-operative ICU stay . During the surgery, even the spillage of a single drop of the Hydatid Cyst fluid could lead to death due to a severe allergic reaction. Other complications included excessive bleeding, pneumonia, high wound infection and pain and long recovery time.”

Talking about HCD, Dr Dhillon said that cysts could grow to the size of a football and sometimes even bigger.. The bursting of the Hydatid Cyst was often fatal as it would produce a very severe allergic reaction . The biggest fear was that sometimes the cysts could get infected which was very difficult to treat.”

“It was the most often caused by accidental ingestion of the eggs of the tapeworm and most commonly absorbed from human contact from dogs , horses ,sheep , cats and farm animals or from contaminated fruits and vegetables . Liver was the most common site of the cysts but it could effect lungs , heart ,spleen and brain also.”

Meanwhile disease affects about one million people in world. India is amongst the top 5 regions to have this disease worldwide with Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nada worst hit. It is classified as a ‘neglected tropical disease’ and thousands die of this, while millions carry it in them and live life undiagnosed with a risk which is not known to them.