RG Kar Hospital of Kolkata creates history
Have you ever imagined a human face with the ears of a goat? Reminds you of bizarre Abol – Tabol imageries? No, here we are talking about medical science, that has turned such unimaginable ideas into reality. Ears of goats have been added to the faces of twenty-five patients undergoing plastic surgery operations to cure body deformities recently at R G Kar Medical College Hospital. This brings a whole new dimension by bringing out new remedies of Mircotia and other body deformities.
But what is Microtia? It is a congenital deformity where the pinna or outer ear is not completely developed. It is also referred to as microtia-anotia. Problems like microtia, cleft lips or palate are more common in rural areas. These generally occur when there is a dearth of folic acid in a pregnant mother’s body. Body deformities cause lack of confidence in many. Suman from Basirhat used to suffer from this deformity since birth. Moumita from Bakura had the problem of cleft lips which made her suffer from a perpetual mental turmoil. Suman does not have to hide his ears behind mufflers anymore. Moumita too, flaunts her face in confidence. With the help of plastic surgery, their deformities have been removed by implantation of the cartilage present in the ears of goats.
Plastic surgeons of RG Kar have come up with this innovative idea to fix these body malformations under the leadership of Divisional Head Dr Roop Bhattacharya. For a Government Hospital, this indeed is a huge feat. The patients operated on are from North and South 24 Parganas, Bankura, Purulia and Birbhum. Scientists have been considering such alternative options of cartilage implantations since 2013. Plastics and silicon implants were used previously. But it was found that human body was unable to cope with these elements for longer periods. There are chances of infection and the whole process is much beyond affordability. A team of doctors of West Bengal Animal and Fish Science University were striving to look for easily available, flexible and strong alternatives of plastics and silicon implants which would be suitable for the human body. The team included specialist doctors, eminent veterinary surgeon Shamit Nandi, microbiologist Dr. Siddharth Joardar and other immunology experts.
The cartilage was first removed from the ear of goats. Thereafter, they were treated with chemicals to make them compatible, keeping the quality of the cartilage unaffected. The only thing that was affected were the cellular properties. But the major dilemma was if human body would accept the goat ear cartilage. The plastic surgeons of RG Kar selected 25 patients who suffered from the problems of nose and ear structure deformities and the surgeries turned out to be highly successful for most of them.
Be it a child of 5 years or a man of 25 years, everyone got relief from these body deformities. This noteworthy innovation somehow, yet again reaffirms our faith in government run hospitals where such operations are done at much less cost than private hospitals. The way medical science is evolving and developing, an utopian thought comes upon the mind which says that the day is not far when the world would be free from physical impediments!