Surgery on baby with swollen head successful

Surgery on baby with swollen head successful

Doctors on Wednesday successfully carried out a life-saving surgery on a baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, her neurosurgeon said.

"The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected," Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum at a hospital in Delhi.
"It's definitely a success but it's too early to say what the quality of her future life will be like," said Vaishya.

Roona, who was born with hydrocephalus, a condition that results in a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid on the brain, was found in a village in Tripura last month living with her parents who are too poor to pay for treatment.

Publication of her pictures prompted the hospital, run by the private Fortis Healthcare group on the outskirts of Delhi, to offer to treat Roona for free.

When Roona was born, local doctors told her parents to take her to a private hospital in a big city but the costs were too high for her 18-year-old father, Abdul Rahman, an illiterate labourer who earns Rs 150 a day. Roona's condition had caused her head to swell to a circumference of 94 cm (37 inches), putting pressure on her brain and making it impossible for her to sit upright or crawl. Vaishya estimated the weight of the fluid in her head amounted to half her total weight, leading him to believe that her body would struggle to absorb all that liquid in the event of a procedure known as a shunt, where a tube is inserted into the head.

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