Tiruchi surgeons treat Pakistan national for pituitary tumour

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The patient had discovered his condition by chance in Quetta last year.

A team of city-based surgeons has performed a sophisticated surgery on a young Pakistani national to remove a pituitary tumour.

Bakhtiyar Khan, a 30-year-old Pakistani national from the Talli village in Sibi, Balochistan, underwent the surgery here a few days ago.

The surgery was performed by Dr. T.N. Janakiraman, skull base surgeon and managing director, Royal Pearl Hospital and Research Institute, Dr. Uday Chanukya, Dr. Prayatna Kumar, skull base surgeons, and Dr. Balamurugan, anaesthesiologist.

The tumour, in the cavernous sinus — a large collection of thin-walled veins creating a cavity bordered by the temporal bone of the skull and the sphenoid bone in the head, was removed through endoscopic surgery.

“Normally surgeons go through the skull and brain to excise the tumour with the help of surgical microscopic glasses. But this doesn’t ensure the removal of the entire tumour, which is why radiation is recommended after the operation,” Dr. Janakiraman told The Hindu .

“In Bakhtiyar’s case, the tumour had gone into the cavernous sinus. We used his nasal cavity as the entry point, and brought the tumour out through the nose as well. This is a scar-less keyhole surgery that ensures complete excision and doesn’t require us to make a new opening in the skull,” he added.

Dr. Janakiraman, who was trained in the procedure by internationally renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Amin Kassam in the U.S. 10 years ago, has been doing the procedure for the past nine years in Tiruchi.

For the patient’s elder brother, Sardar Khan, the experience has been both exhausting yet exhilarating. A file clerk at the local health centre in Sibi, the Khan brothers had taken their father, who is paralysed, to a doctor in Quetta last year, when the physician there suggested that it was Mr. Bakhtiyar who needed medical attention urgently. “None of us knew that he was unwell,” recounted Mr. Sardar. “We were advised by neurosurgeon Dr. Asghar Khan to seek help in India immediately. I couldn’t believe that I, who had never left my village to see even Lahore or Karachi, had to go to India.”

In a process that took three to six months, Mr. Sardar convinced Mr. Bakhtiyar and his other siblings (they are eight brothers and two sisters) to get ready to meet Dr. Janakiraman, besides applying for passports and organising visas.

The brothers took the Samjhauta Express from Wagah to Delhi on January 31. The Tamil Nadu Sampark Kranti Express brought them to Tiruchi after a 46-hour journey. As a humanitarian gesture, the hospital has waived all fees (in the range of Rs. 1 to 3 lakhs), except the cost of medicines.

“I’m feeling much better now, and my eyesight has improved,” said Mr. Bakhtiyar Khan. After a few days of observation and a final MRI scan, he will be free to travel back home with his brother.

Said a gratified Mr. Sardar: “I haven’t seen much of India, or even of Tiruchi, but to me, Dr. Janakiraman and his team are India. I’d like to thank all my new friends in India for taking such good care of me and my brother.”

From http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tiruchi-surgeons-treat-pakistan-national-for-pituitary-tumour/article8231567.ece

Interview May 7 with Kathy C, Pituitary Patient

My name is Kathy Casey. I am a 63 year old retired school nurse. I am married with two wonderful sons and a grandson. My husband and I live in the mountain town of Mt. Shasta in northern California. I have always been athletic.

In 1995, I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. At the time the only symptom I was aware of was a severe headache. I had a transphenoidal resection by Dr. Wilson at UCSF Medical Center followed by radiation therapy for 23 days. At the time they said they could not remove all of the tumor.

In 2008/2009. I exhibited symptoms of Cushing’s and my cortisol level was outrageous, and I had to be hospitalized initially for a potassium level of 2. I returned to UCSF and Dr. Anwar Sandeep operated . By removing part of the tumor. My Cushing symptoms resolved. However, he said that the tumor was not encapsulated and was invading the cavernous sinus and stella turcica so it was still not possible to remove it all.

I was OK until December 2013 when I began exhibiting the symptoms of Cushings. One of my 24 hr. urines was 14,000. I had to be hospitalized for a potassium level of 1.9. Dr. Heaney said he has never seen a cortisol level that high. This time I decided to go to the UCLA Pituitary Tumor and Endocrinology Program where they were more oriented to follow-up and treating this disorder. Dr. Bergsneider decided that surgery was not an option. He and Dr. Heaney decided radiation was not an option. So now I am being followed by Dr. Heaney to see if medication can help.

I am now on Cabergoline 0.5 mg three tabs twice a week and Signifor 0.9 mg subcutaneosly twice a day. I think they are alleviating some of the symptoms. However, the Signifor caused my blood sugar to rise, and I had to go on Metformin which is causing nausea to a point where I have a hard time eating.

Anyway, this whole situation is depressing and overwhelming. I am tryng to stay positive, but I wonder how it will turn out. I am fortunate to have a supportive and helpful husband.

I am interested in communicating with people who may be going through a similar experience and learning more about this rare condition.

Kathy will be interviewed May 7, 2014 in BlogTalkRadio

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