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  • 10-Year-Old Boy Beats Bone Cancer, Walks Again Thanks to Innovative Surgery at Gleneagles BGS Hospital

    Published on February 23, 2024

     Bangalore: For a young boy named Akash, the carefree days of playing and running seemed like a distant dream when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer, in his right femur (thigh bone). Initially advised for amputation at another hospital, a glimmer of hope emerged for Akash and his family when they sought a second opinion at Gleneagles BGS Hospital. There, a team of dedicated doctors embarked on a remarkable journey with him, not just to fight the cancer but to preserve his leg and his ability to walk again.

    The battle against osteosarcoma required a multifaceted approach. First came neoadjuvant chemotherapy, a powerful medication regimen designed to shrink the tumor and improve the chances of successful surgery. This was followed by the critical stage: limb-salvage surgery. Unlike traditional amputation, this complex procedure aimed to remove the diseased portion of the femur while meticulously preserving surrounding nerves and blood vessels. In Akash’s case, the resected bone was then reconstructed with a customized, expandable mega prosthesis, a marvel of modern medical technology. This prosthesis, unlike its fixed counterparts, could grow with Akash, ensuring his leg wouldn’t lag behind as he entered adolescence and adulthood.

    Leading the charge in this intricate operation was Dr Karthik K Prasad, a renowned surgical oncologist at Gleneagles BGS Hospital. “The surgery itself presented several challenges,” explained Dr Karthik. “Not only did we have to ensure complete tumor removal, but also meticulously dissect the neurovascular bundle, which supplies vital sensation and movement to the leg. Additionally, achieving precise alignment of the prosthesis was crucial to ensure proper weight distribution and function.”

    The six-hour surgery was a success. The delicate dance between removing the cancer and preserving the limb paid off. Within days, Akash, defying the odds and a 5% risk of amputation, was taking his first tentative steps again. The joy and relief for him and his family were palpable.

    “Akash’s journey has been an emotional rollercoaster,” shared his parents, their voices thick with emotion. “When we were first told amputation was the only option, we were devastated. But the team at Gleneagles BGS Hospital gave us hope. They explained the complex procedure, the risks involved, and the potential benefits. Seeing Akash walk again is nothing short of a miracle. We are eternally grateful to the doctors, nurses, and everyone who played a role in giving him a second chance at a normal life.”

    Following surgery, Akash made swift progress thanks to the dedication of the physiotherapy team. With each session, he regained strength and mobility, and by day four, he was walking again. Ten days after surgery, he was discharged from the hospital, ready to continue his recovery at home.

    The successful outcome of Akash’s case underscores the importance of several key factors in battling bone cancer. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial, allowing doctors to attack the tumor before it spreads and while options like limb-salvage surgery remain viable. Additionally, access to specialized expertise and advanced technology plays a vital role. The team at Gleneagles BGS Hospital, Dr Lokesh N, Consultant Ortho Oncologist, Dr Prerana Nesargi, Consultant paediatric hemato-oncologist & BMT Physician, Dr Ashish Shetty, Consultant Anaesthesiologist, Dr Sandhya V, Consultant onco-pathologist & Dr Babu George, Physiotherapist, with their experience in managing complex oncological cases and their access to cutting-edge equipment like expandable prostheses, were instrumental in Akash’s recovery, said Dr Karthik.

    The journey for Master Akash continues. Regular physiotherapy and follow-up appointments are crucial to ensure his continued recovery and progress. His ultimate goal is to return to his active lifestyle, running, playing, and enjoying all that childhood has to offer. While it may take 3-6 months for him to fully regain his pre-surgery abilities, the determination and support surrounding him are unwavering.

    Looking ahead, the future of bone cancer treatment holds promise. Advancements in tissue engineering offer the potential to one day replicate bones using a patient’s own tissue, creating lighter, stronger, and more durable replacements. However, for now, stories like Akash’s serve as a beacon of hope, demonstrating the remarkable strides medical science has made in preserving not just lives, but also the precious normalcy of childhood.

    “At Gleneagles BGS Hospital Kengeri, we’re all about setting new standards in healthcare. Our team’s passion for innovation and commitment to caring shine through in everything we do. We aim to make a real difference, turning challenges into opportunities to help our patients. It’s not just about the treatments; it’s about bringing hope and positive change to every life we touch,” said Mr Biju Nair, Cluster COO, Gleneagles BGS Hospitals Bengaluru.

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