Nine premature babies undergo complex surgery
In a rare instance, nine premature babies weighing below 1.5 kg and one baby weighing less than 1 kg were operated upon for complex retina surgery, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) at the LV Prasad Eye Institute earlier this week.

Premature babies are highly susceptible to loss of eyesight and unless the problem is identified and corrective surgery is done within weeks of birth, the condition progresses to childhood blindness.

The premier institute gets referrals for the ROP surgeries from across the country, as well as neighbouring Nepal and Bangladesh.

“A premature baby who weighs less than 2 kg can get a problem with the retina. The babies have to be checked within 30 days of birth for eyesight problems and once identified, we do a laser treatment for them. In 80-90% of the cases, the baby gets cured with the laser treatment,” said Dr Subhadra Jalali, director newborn eye health alliance (NEHA) at LVPEI.

“However, in cases where there might a delay in identification (over 30 days), loss of eyesight begins and the baby can go completely blind within 2-3 months of birth. In such cases an emergency surgery has to be done,” Jalali said.

“While operating on a baby weighing 1 kg is a challenging task due to several reasons including difficulty in finding the vein to administer glucose, the size of the eye is half that of a normal baby and extremely soft tissue which can get damaged with the slightest movement. On one side it is lifelong blindness and on the other its death. It requires a lot of counselling to convince parents to take a huge risk,” added Dr Jalali.

Not just operating on the delicate babies is a challenge but even administering the anaesthesia is a task. “Anaesthesia is administered through the neck in such cases and even if there is a little mucous left the baby will stop breathing. We have to be extremely careful,” explained Dr Raja Narsing Rao, head of anaesthesia for the surgeries.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/9-premature-babies-undergo-complex-surgery/articleshow/71412921.cms
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