The doctors Chidambara Marathe had consulted before he came to Chennai told him that a surgery was not possible.
Mr. Marathe, a 66-year-old resident of Bengaluru, had been diagnosed with Hepatitis B, after which he had two small liver tumours that were treated in January 2014.
But towards the end of February this year, Mr. Marathe developed pain and swelling in the abdomen and doctors found that another tumour had developed — but this one was so large that it was deemed too risky for a surgery.
“At one hospital, a surgery was attempted but not done. We were told that we may not find a doctor anywhere who would be willing to operate. We were told that he may live for one or two months or six months if he was lucky. And he was in intense pain,” said Kiran Marathe, the patient’s son.
That is when the family came to Gleneagles Global Health City in Chennai, and met with Dr. Mohamed Rela, chairman and director, Institute of Liver disease and Transplantation, at the hospital.
“Dr. Rela took a look at the scans and reports and said he could do it. Immediately, we brought my father to Chennai,” Mr. Kiran said.
At the hospital, doctors found that the cancerous tumour filled the entire abdomen. “It was 25 cm in size, bigger than a regulation football and got its blood supply from lots of places, making the surgery risky,” said Mettu Srinivas Reddy, senior consultant at the hospital.
After discussing it with the family, the surgery was performed on March 31, led by Prof. Rela, and it was successful. The tumour weighed 6.6 kg. “Mr. Marathe had developed liver cancer on a background of chronic liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B infection,” said Dr. Reddy.
Prof. Rela said that patients and their families should be aware surgery for liver cancer was possible and it did not involve transplants. “Liver resection [surgically removing a portion of the liver] is more demanding, technical and risky, especially with liver cirrhosis [scarring of the liver tissue], but should be the first option where possible. Patients need to know this option exists,” he said.
Mr. Marathe, who was working in a bank earlier, is doing well now, but needs long-term care and regular follow-ups in order to ensure new tumours do not come up.
“In February, our situation was really bad. Today, what we thought was impossible has been made possible,” Mr. Kiran said.
Liver resection is more risky, especially with liver cirrhosis
Dr. Mohamed Rela,
Gleneagles Global Health City
Article From THE HINDU 14-May-2017