Courageous Survivor Shares her Treatment Journey and Need to Stay Enthusiastic and Have Strong Faith

Dr. Sivaprakash Rathanaswamy and Dr. Pranay Taori with the patient*

A 47 year old UAE resident had been experiencing two months of gaseous enlargement, pain in lower abdomen and bloating. She consulted Dr. Sivaprakash Rathanaswamy Specialist – Surgical Oncology at Zulekha Hospital Dubai. On diagnosis it was found she had developed ovarian cancer with spread to peritoneum, omentum and gross ascites (accumulation of fluid). While no obvious cause was found in this patient for this condition, other causes usually include old age, familial gene mutations, obesity, endometriosis, hormone replacement therapy, etc. After thorough assessments by the doctor she first underwent an ultrasound guided biopsy and four cycles of preoperative chemotherapy before the actual procedure. Further a cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy) was done to treat her condition.

Explaining her ordeal with the disease, she describes, “After a malignant tumor was suspected, I met with Dr. Pranay Taori, Specialist Medical Oncology in Zulekha Hospital Dubai who introduced us to Dr. Sivaprakash who clearly explained the results of my tests and outlined the course of the proposed treatment.  He took time to elucidate things in detail and patiently answered all our questions.”

“My experience has been intense as well as eye opener and informative.  It was very comforting dealing with Dr. Sivaprakash as he puts one at ease and gives a sense of assurance with his calmness and confidence.  He is always very prompt with responding to messages and goes that extra mile to be supportive.  The staff, especially most of the nurses, are very friendly, helpful and strictly adhere to safety precautions.  As recommended, I am continuing with chemotherapy post-surgery. The past months have been challenging and overwhelming at times but I do feel much better and am even more optimistic now.”EXPERTS TREAT HIGH-RISK OVARIAN CANCER WITH CYTOREDUCTIVE SURGERY

After their experience, her message for the womenfolk will be – “Listen to your body, if you feel something is not right, trust your intuition and get it checked.  If the diagnosis is not what you expect, do not be afraid.  With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, there are cures and solutions for nearly everything today.  Do not hesitate to ask questions or for support.  The human body has remarkable healing abilities but the power of a positive mind is incredible.  Keep a positive mind-set; surround yourself with things that make you happy (music, books, other hobbies you enjoy) and try to stay as active as possible.   The journey will be tough at times but believe me when I say – You are stronger than you think.  Stay enthusiastic and keep the faith.”

Describing the complexity of the procedure, Dr. Sivaprakash said, “Due to the spread to intra-abdominal lining tissues called peritoneum, and the fluid being positive, even after extensive surgery with removal of all involved organs and entire peritoneum, the chances of microscopic disease being left over is high in such cases. Hence she needed an intra-operative high temperature intra-peritoneal chemotherapy for 90 minutes immediately at the same time of surgery to kill microscopic cancer cells in case any such cells were hidden in every nook and corner of abdominal cavity, there by achieving complete clearance of cancer.”

“This procedure requires expertise and meticulous dissection from a skilled oncologist and is a high-risk procedure. The patient has to be optimized preoperatively and needs intraoperative and postoperative intense monitoring to avoid morbidity and mortality. We are well-equipped with a skilled medical team with this key expertise to carry out such high-risk procedures.”

Dr. Pranay Taori, Specialist Medical Oncology adds, “Cancer treatment requires a team effort and we are proud to have the expertise in our team to treat such high-risk cases successfully at Zulekha Hospital Dubai. It is imperative that the patient also carries a positive mind set through one’s recovery and we admire her resilience to keep up with all treatment norms. Patients need not have apprehensions about chemotherapy. With an optimistic mindset, individuals can help themselves through this treatment journey.”

The six hours long procedure by Dr. Sivaprakash was supported by Dr. Rahul Deshmukh, Specialist Anesthetist and their medical team. The surgery took three to four hours approximately, with 90 minutes for HIPEC, heated chemotherapy circulation.

With a total hospital stay of just five days, the patient was in ICU observation for two days. She is now continuing her adjuvant chemotherapy and doing well.

*(Name kept confidential on request from the patient)

About Zulekha Healthcare Group 

Zulekha Healthcare Group is a Superbrand and among the forerunners in UAE healthcare. Today the Zulekha Healthcare Group includes two multidisciplinary hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah, as well as four UAE medical centres and three pharmacies providing specialised treatments in over 30 disciplines. The group also has a multidisciplinary hospital in India – Alexis. Zulekha Hospital has received extensive recognition for its commitment towards quality care and sustainable business practices, and recently received the prestigious Dubai Quality Award for the second time in four years, underling a commitment to providing high quality healthcare to patients and society.

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