Doctors at Chennai hospital save one-day-old baby after 5-hour complex brain surgery

The child was found to have a large blood clot compressing the brain stem that was obstructing the normal fluid flow in the brain.

BySumit Jha

Published Mar 21, 2023 | 10:49 PM Updated Mar 21, 2023 | 10:49 PM

Doctors at Chennai hospital save one-day-old baby after 5-hour complex brain surgery

Chennai-based MGM Healthcare has successfully performed complex brain surgery on a one-day-old newborn that lasted a whopping five hours.

The day-old child with a large blood clot in the brain was saved after the marathon surgery, a statement from MGM Healthcare said on Tuesday, 21 March.

While the surgery was performed a few months ago, the hospital waited to reveal the news till after the child was confirmed to be doing well.

Also Read: 12-year-old with spinal muscular seeks affordable medical care

The life-saving surgery

The day-old infant was brought to MGM’s Neonatal ICU from another hospital with drowsiness and refusing any feed from the mother.

After an in-depth examination and an MRI, it was found that the child had a huge blood clot compressing the brain stem and obstructing the normal fluid flow in the brain.

Consultant neurosurgeon and a specialist in pediatric epilepsy and movement disorder surgery, Dr LS Harishchandra, with the support of the Neonatal ICU — headed by Dr Binu Ninan — performed the timely, intricate, two-step surgical procedure on the brain of the newborn to remove the blood clot and save the child.

Speaking about the complexities of the surgery, Dr Harishchandra said in a statement that “performing any surgery on newborns is loaded with challenges. It’s a tightrope walk between being meticulous and also being as quick as possible”.

“The surgery took about five hours. The baby was under the excellent care of our neonatal team during her post-operative period. The baby is doing fine and is keeping up her developmental milestones,” he added.

Also Read: Woman frequently smelled burning incense. It was a brain tumour!

Blood clots and brain damage 

The brain stem controls vital functions like breathing, heart function, and maintaining a conscious state. When this part of the brain is compressed, it affects all these functions. Compression of the brain stem can lead to a range of symptoms, including difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, paralysis, and even death.

When a blood clot obstructs the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain, it can cause a condition known as hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a build-up of CSF in the brain that can lead to increased pressure inside the skull, causing damage to brain tissue and further worsening of the child’s condition.

The treatment for a blood clot compressing the brain stem typically involves emergency surgery to remove the clot and relieve pressure on the brain.

Also Read: This 12-year-old had uncontrolled laughter episodes all his life!