Gurgaon: Doctors in a private hospital here successfully performed a rare slide tracheoplasty with laryngotracheal reconstruction surgery on three-year-old Chris Williams from Malawi, an African country, officials said on Tuesday.

Doctors at the Artemis Hospital here said Williams was born with extremely rare congenital anomaly where his entire wind pipe from voice box to lungs was narrowed by a condition called complete tracheal rings, this made it difficult for him to breathe and speak.

Essentially, as the child grew up, his windpipe was not able to enlarge sufficiently and the condition worsened. Williams was then referred to the hospital in October after his previous multiple surgeries failed.

Shashidhar T B, senior consultant, paediatric ENT, and Raja Joshi, director, paediatric cardiac surgery, at the hospital said: “Since it was a do or die situation, multiple consultations with airway experts in the US and the UK were taken. A team of doctors at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon, successfully performed the first combined slide tracheoplasty and laryngotracheal reconstruction on him.”

Doctors said the child’s entire trachea was reconstructed, using his own rib cartilage and folding the windpipe on itself. Since the windpipe was not available for breathing during the surgery, it was done on a heart-lung bypass machine for almost four hours.

“Though his initial post-operative condition was turbulent, he finally recuperated well after a three-week stay in the ICU,” Prabhat Maheshwari, a doctor, said.

Shashidhar said: “The combination of whole trachea slide tracheoplasty with laryngotracheal reconstruction is a major breakthrough in surgical advancements that has not yet been reported in Indian medical literature.”

The philosophy of surgery is to double the lumen of windpipe by halving its length.

The success of this surgery gives hope to thousands of patients with long segment windpipe obstruction who had no option but to live on tracheostomy tube lifelong.

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