Sunday, Dec 22, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
The needle, about an inch long, was removed from the arm of Babu (34) by Philip J. Prakash, plastic surgeon at the Sree Uthradom Tirunal hospital on Saturday, through a surgical procedure which lasted for 30 minutes.
The needle had snapped and got lodged in the shoulder of Babu on November 19, while he was being administered an injection at the Kollam District hospital.
The patient had undergone a surgery at the Medical College hospital on December 4 to remove the needle. However, the team of surgeons who carried out the procedure had abandoned attempts to retrieve the needle as it had been lodged too deep in the tissue.
``It took about half an hour for the pre-operation planning, but just two minutes to retrieve the needle. The needle was lodged just about 1.5 to 2 cm in the muscle,'' Dr. Philip said.
According to him, it was not surprising that the needle had eluded earlier attempts to remove it. "Finding a foreign body lodged in a muscle is like finding a needle in a haystack. The tissues and tendons all shine like needle in the muscle. Proper pre-operative planning is essential - we cannot try searching for the needle after making an opening, because there will be a lot of fluids and tissues which would start to swell,'' he said.
The needle had moved slightly from its previous position because of muscle movement. It was unlikely to have caused any problem had it remained in the body, except psychological discomfort to the patient, according to the doctor.
The patient is recovering and would be discharged within a day or two. The hospital has offered to bear all expenses of surgery and hospitalisation.
Babu had been referred to the Medical College hospital on November 25th after he experienced uneasiness and pain in his arm.
But after viewing 98 X-Rays and toiling for nearly four hours in the surgery theatre, surgeons at the Medical College here had abandoned attempts to retrieve the needle. He had got himself admitted to the SUT hospital on December 18 soon after being discharged from the MCH.
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