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Bengaluru doctors end African girl’s ordeal by recreating burnt food pipe

The African girl whose food pipe was reconstructed at Fortis Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru with the team of doctors who performed the operation

It was indeed a proud and joyous moment for the doctors and staff of Fortis Bannerghatta Road in Bengaluru, as they saw a six-year-old girl have fluids orally after a long gap of two years. Interestingly the girl has come all the way from Africa for this operation which was successfully done by a multidisciplinary team of doctors including surgical gastroenterologists, paediatric surgeons, and anaesthesiologists.

Farah (name changed) had been using an external tube inserted in her abdomen for the past two years for feeding as her food pipe was completely burnt. She had accidentally consumed a floor cleaning acidic liquid which was lying on the floor while playing at her home.

The corrosive liquid burnt the girl’s food pipe and a part of her small intestine instantly. At the hospital where she was rushed, the doctors removed a part of her damaged food pipe and created an opening in her abdomen to directly feed her small intestine through a tube.

Her parents could not see their daughter suffer and started looking for an institution which could help their daughter. They were referred to Fortis Hospital.

She was thoroughly examined at the hospital and underwent Oesophago-Gastro-Duodenoscopy which is a camera test done to examine the upper digestive system. This revealed that the connection between the food pipe and the stomach had narrowed as a result of the charring of the food pipe and a portion of her stomach.

The doctors realised that the case was a complex one and would need a multi-disciplinary approach.

Sharing details with the media, Dr Manish Joshi, Chief Surgical Gastroenterologist, HPB and Bariatric Surgeon, Advanced Laparoscopic & Robotic Surgeon at Fortis said: “The procedure carried out was extremely complex as we had to entirely reconstruct the girl’s food pipe. We did an esophagectomy, involving intricate surgical steps such as removal of the damaged portion of the food pipe and cutting a part of the stomach to create a gastric conduit (tube). This conduit was then meticulously attached to the remaining oesophagus (unburnt food pipe), reconstructing the passage for food and liquids.”

Dr Manish Joshi
Dr. Manish Joshi

Dr. Joshi added that an “endoscopic Controlled Radial Expansion dilation was also performed wherein an expandable balloon catheter was inserted endoscopically to correct/expand the narrowed connection between the oesophagus and the stomach.”

Following this, he said the “patient was able to consume fluids orally post the procedure and was discharged the next day in a stable condition.”