New Delhi: A 27-year-old Aarif Hussain of Moradabad from Uttar Pradesh was shot at point blank range straight onto his chest while he was asleep nearly four years ago but, luckily, the bullet shot at him, did not touch any of his vital organs except all the pellets discharged made their way into his chest, creating a tennis ball size cavity, that has been threatening his heart over the past four years.
With the years passing the pellets discharged from the bullet turned into a time-bomb with the cavity they created damaging the surrounding tissue, started oozing foul-smelling pus.
Aarif had visited many doctors in his hometown in UP as well as Meerut and Delhi but none of the doctors dared to treat the wound fearing the damage that could possibly be done to the surrounding organs and tissue.
But it was AIIMS Trauma Centre’s Dr. Mishra, who specializes in surgical treatment of organs inside the thorax (chest), t who took up the challenge to treat Aarif.
Speaking of the operation, Dr Mishra said, the surgery to remove pellets as small as papaya seeds was not an easy task and “If he wasn’t operated on soon, the infection would have spread to other organs. It is fatal.”
“Theoretically, it looked like an impossible task. I even told the patient that there was a likelihood of death on the table. But he was willing to take a chance, which gave me the confidence to go ahead,” the surgeon told TOI.
He explained the pellets were closely grouped, a centimeter above the heart wall and very close to the aorta and left lung. “We did multiple CT scans before the surgery. Even during surgery, we kept looking at the fluoroscope, an imaging technique that uses X-rays to obtain real-time moving images of the object,” the doctor said.
The surgeons had to cut through the breastbone and remove the infected tissue of his chest. They further went deeper into the chest to remove the pellets to see deposits of cotton inside him. Aarif was shot at the point-blank distance while he was asleep under his quilt.
Doctors said that the bullet shot at him drove some of the quilt’s cotton into his body. “Because the pellets and cotton had been inside for more than four years, there were multiple adhesions around them. We slowly, and very carefully, took each one out. The bullet case was also lying inside and was removed successfully,” Dr Mishra said.
The plastic surgeon had helped to cover the open area in the chest after pellets and the cotton were removed. “The patient recovered and was discharged within four days of surgery,” doctors said.
When Hussain was asked the reason for the injury he stated it was due to property dispute and he was shot 17 days prior to his wedding.
“I am better now thanks to the AIIMS doctor. He has given me a new life and I want to make the most of it by working hard,” said Hussain.
Back in 2008, Dr Mishra and other surgeons at the AIIMS Trauma Centre had operated a similar complicated surgery upon a 23-year-old youth, Supratim Dutta, to remove a five-foot rod that had pierced his body which was a successful surgery as well. The success of the operation was also featured in “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not”.
AIIMS Chief Dr Rajesh Malhotra, says such complicated surgeries carry very high-risk and are not undertaken by everyone. “Mishra is a young doctor and he took up the challenge. He has the skill set and infrastructure at hand. I am very happy about this feat,” he said, TOI reported.