Ex army officer from Gurgaon undergoes surgery to remove a piece of mutton kebab he had swallowed , which was choking him
GURGAON,May11: A 69-year-old former Army officer underwent what doctors described as a “one of a kind” surgery to remove a piece of mutton seekh kebab, which had blocked his windpipe after he had swallowed it whole.
The surgery was described as unique because the six-inch kebab piece was eventually extracted from the windpipe (trachea) with the help of anabdominal laparoscopic grasper, a tool used in gall bladder removal surgeries, after the conventional method failed.
Major Rajinder (retired) had nearly choked to death on the kebab that he was having at his Gurgaon home on Tuesday. Shashidhar Tatavarthy, senior ENT consultant (surgery), Artemis Hospitals, said Rajinder was unable to speak and barely breathed when he was wheeled into emergency as passage of air to the lungs was completely blocked.
Immediately after he was brought to the emergency room (ER), surgeons began a tracheostomy, a life-saving procedure in which an artificial passage of air is created to restore breathing. This is done by surgically opening a hole in the neck up to the trachea.
But in Rajinder’s case, tracheostomy proved inadequate, surgeons said, as kebab was large enough to also obstruct the artificial passage. This posed a huge challenge for surgeons and anaesthetists. The hospital said even ENT instruments were of limited use because of the critical nature of the blockage. The doctors then resorted to an out-of-the-box technique, and an abdominal laparoscopic grasper was used to remove the seekh kebab from the windpipe.
According to Dr Tatavarthy, it is a well-established fact that gulping seekh kebabs can trigger severe cases of choking in trachea, and people usually do not survive it. “Past cases, published in the UK, revealed that such kind of choking has had calamitous outcome with patients getting no time to reach hospital,” he said, adding that timely arrival at the hospital, coordination between anaesthetists and ENT specialists and some innovative thinking saved the life of the patient.