He is Kerala’s No. 1 doctor! A grateful patient recounts her keyhole surgery of adrenal glands
‘Pain had been the common feature of all my four previous surgeries,’ says Shalini Nair from Trivandrum. ‘In each of those cases, it had taken me several days to walk after the surgery. But, after my keyhole procedure for adrenalectomy with Dr. Baiju Senadhipan, I walked the very next day. In less than two weeks, I returned to work!’ recounts Shalini, still surprised with the speed of her recovery.
Not very long ago, whilst driving her car in Trivandrum, Shalini suddenly lost consciousness and met with an accident. The memory of that day still sends a chill down her spine. She couldn’t explain why she had lost consciousness. Nor could anybody give her a suitable explanation for the frequent headaches, upset stomach and other problems she was grappling with on a daily basis. Her BP was abnormally high. Her potassium levels were rising. She had mild chest pain. She was unable to sleep properly. Nearly every day, Shalini seemed to be battling with some health problem or the other.
Approaching a friend who worked at an eye hospital for some guidance, Shalini was referred to Dr. John Mathew, a renowned endocrinologist who examined her and referred her onwards to Dr. Baiju Senadhipan. ‘I am so glad I was referred to Dr. Senadhipan’ says Shalini reflecting upon her condition prior to the operation. ‘He listens to patients very carefully, giving them his full attention. He explains the problem and the solution to them properly.’ she says.
Shalini was told that she had a cyst in her adrenal gland and the gland may have to be removed. This cyst was the underlying cause of the daily problems she was facing. While others told her this would have to be done by open surgery, Dr. Baiju assured her that this procedure could be done with Keyhole approach (laparoscopically) at his center.
Keyhole or Laparoscopic surgery involves miniature incisions of 5-12mm (the size of a rice grain) as opposed to a much larger incision of 6-9 inches (the size of a adult palm) in an open surgery, thereby resulting in minimal pain, lesser complications and shorter recovery periods. In a keyhole surgery, a viewing instrument is inserted into the patient’s abdomen, into which inert gas is filled, which allows the surgeon to view and operate upon the patient without cutting open the body with a large incision. Shalini had taken over a month to walk after her previous surgeries. She had similar apprehensions as she mentally prepared herself for the surgery for adrenalectomy.
‘Dr. Baiju patiently explained the entire procedure to me. Speaking to him gave me a lot of confidence.’ she says. ‘The anaesthetist at the center was also very good. As I lay in the Operation Theatre waiting for the surgery to begin, I got a lot of confidence just talking to the anaesthetist,’ continues Shalini.
Shalini was to be operated upon laparoscopically for the removal of the adrenal gland. The operation was to be conducted very near the backbone and ribs. It was a major operation. She had been suffering from chest pain and high blood pressure. In this condition, there was a greater chance of cerebral haemorrhage and increased risk of a heart attack. On account of her previous surgical experiences that were filled with pain, Shalini had many apprehensions about the surgery.
‘After the procedure, as I regained consciousness in the recovery room, I asked my husband if the cyst had indeed been removed. As I experienced no pain at all, I could not believe that the surgery had been completed!’ says Shalini still surprised at the absolute painless experience she went through.
‘The very next day after the operation, I could walk!’ she says still amazed at the speed of her recovery. ‘When I returned for my check-up after a few days, I asked Dr. Baiju when I could return to work. He said I was ok and could get back to work. On the 12th day after the surgery, I was back at work!’ she adds with a smile still unable to believe it.
Shalini now lives a normal life now after her surgery. Working as the Chief Accountant in a private hospital, Shalini lives in Trivandrum along with her retired husband. Her two children are preparing for the Public Service Commission. When asked if her life has changed in any way after the surgery she says emphatically ‘Not at all!’
‘My blood pressure is back to normal. My potassium levels are normal again. My chest pain has disappeared. I have no headaches or any other pain. I have resumed my normal life.’ she adds with relief.
‘I am grateful to Dr. Baiju Senadhipan she says. ‘And to all the staff members at his hospital. They were all very caring and took good care of me. If anybody I know has a medical problem, I don’t think twice. I directly suggest that they go and meet Dr. Baiju Senadhipan. He is the best doctor in Kerala.’ Shalini says confidently.