In what can be termed as a “medical” miracle, doctors at a city hospital restored a toddler’s skull bone through a complex brain surgery using biomaterial implant made from porous polyethylene (a high-density polymer being used for medical needs since 1985).
The case relates to an infant from Rae Bareli who fell from the rooftop and developed a head injury in January 2020.
The boy was rushed to the neurosurgery department at Apollomedics Super Specialty Hospital.
Neurosurgeon, Dr Sunil Kumar Singh, said: “The injury had damaged his skull bone and section of the left brain. But saving life was more important at that point of time. The boy survived the trauma in the intensive care unit for a month.”
Since the boy was too small for a complex surgery, Dr Singh resorted to undertake the DECRA procedure as per standard protocol.
“This is a neurosurgical procedure in which part of the skull is removed to allow a swelling brain room to expand without being squeezed. At the same time, the strewn bone was taken away and preserved to be implanted when the child grew enough to face the surgery. Meanwhile, the boy’s scalp was sealed,” Dr Singh recalled.
In July 2021, the boy was brought to the hospital again and a procedure to fix the problem was undertaken.
However, it failed to yield the desired result landing the boy again in the hospital in September 2021.
“We found that the bone had been rejected leaving use of implants as the only option. Now, had the patient been an adult, things would have been simpler. But with children, the skull also grows with age while implants do not. The inadequacy made us search for other options and the biomaterial implant made from porous polyethylene was explored,” the surgeon said.
In November 2021, the boy underwent surgery.
On Thursday, he was declared fit though the boy will be monitored for a few more months.
CEO and Managing Director, Dr Mayank Somani said: “This is the first of its kind surgery in UP. So far, it is available in big centres like New Delhi and Mumbai.”
Experts said that with the bio-implant in place, there will be no change in the size of the head with the age of the child as the implant will also grow with him.