Surgery helps Delhi man bedridden with 45-kg elephantiasis leg walk for first time in 10 years

Mar 23, 2022

New Delhi [India], March 23 : A 40-year-old bed-ridden man who developed Elephantiasis in the left leg post a road accident a decade ago received a new lease of life after a successful 'highly specialised and superfine microsurgery' at a hospital in the national capital.
The man, Amit Kumar can now walk freely and has resumed his daily activities while also undergoing conservative therapy for rehabilitation at Max Hospital, Patparganj.
Kumar had lost all hope of ever getting back a normal life after he developed Elephantiasis (Lymphedema) after an accident 10 years ago. He had visited multiple hospitals across the city and was repeatedly told that there was nothing that could be done to cure his debilitating condition.
Highly specialised and superfine microsurgery, Lymphovenous Anastomosis (LVA), is a one-of-its-kind treatment for treating Lymphedema that could be caused due to trauma or common in patients of cancer surgeries or filariasis, as said, the team of doctors led by Dr Manoj Johar, Senior Director and his associate Principal Consultant, Dr Pradeep K Singh, Department of Aesthetic, Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery, Max Hospital, Patparganj.
According to doctors Kumar underwent an operation on the left groin which resulted in disruption of the lymph nodes (lymphatics). Following this, he started developing Lymphedema or Elephantiasis because of the accumulation of excessive fluids.
The patient consulted with several doctors in the following years, but his situation worsened; which compromised his walking and daily chores along with the psychological trauma.
Talking about the case, Dr Johar said, "Lymphedema was traditionally treated with debulking, ablative treatments in which the excess volume of fat and fluid was immediately excised or eliminated via liposuction. These methods, on the other hand, are far from physiological and are frequently disfiguring or only provide brief relief. LVA is relatively new, and is now considered one of the gold standard therapies for lymphedema."
Dr Johar led the highly trained team of doctors comprising of Dr Pradeep K Singh & Dr Ankur Bhatia who performed the surgery.
He said that the case was a highly challenging case but after multiple attempts, the weight of his leg has finally reduced to 25 kgs from 45 kgs earlier.
"We adopted conservative management with manual lymphatic drainage therapy, triple bandaging, and other methods to achieve optimal status. He was taken up for multiple Lymphovenous Anastomosis, and his leg circumference came down from 120 cms to 112 cms, and all the compartments softened up two-month post-surgery. Then we planned reduction surgeries, and after two stages of reduction surgeries, his limb girth is now 65 cms, and the weight of his leg has now reduced to 25 kgs. Using highly specialised microscopes, we were able to magnify the operating area by 40 times. This was a highly challenging case," said Dr Johar.
Dr Pradeep K Singh, Principal Consultant, Dept of Aesthetic, Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery, said, "Lymphovenous Anastomosis is a specialised surgery where 0.1-0.2 mm diameter lymph vessels are (joined) anastomosed with nearby veins under a specialised microscope with special super microsurgery instruments, and we bypass the proximal blocked lymphatic pathways and lymph is directly drained into the venous system."
Dr Kousar Ali Shah, Sr Vice President, Operations & Head at Max Hospital, Patparganj, congratulated the team of doctors treating Amit for achieving success in such a complicated case. He said that through this method, more such patients suffering from Elephantiasis will be benefitted in the future.
"We take pride in pioneering in tertiary and quaternary care. This particular case is a testimony to how super specialised procedures could alter the life of not just the patient but his entire family. I congratulate the team of treating doctors for achieving this feat. Such procedures are bound to help many more patients who suffer from Lymphedema," said Dr Kousar.