A four month old baby boy, Naksh Mandrekar from Goa is among the youngest in India to undergo an epilepsy surgery which was required since he suffered around 40 seizures a day. Mr. Narayan, father of Naksh said that his son who was given six anti-epilepsy medicines a day till doctors at KEM Hospital operated on him on October 3, did not have had a single seizure and now smiles and plays with us.
According to the Head of Neurology at KEM Hospital, Dr. Sangeeta Ravat, “Naksh is the youngest of 558 epilepsy surgery patients in the past 15 years.” Epilepsy is a neurological disorder affecting one in every 200 people. Around 20 to 30 percent of these patients require surgery but the number of operated patients in India is quite low. The main reason behind this is due to presence of a only a handful of centres offering the epilepsy surgery. As per Dr. Pradnya Gadgil of Kokilaben Ambani Hospital, where a eight month old boy was the youngest to undergo epilepsy surgery in 2016, “It’s not being done as commonly as it should be.”
To narrate Naksh’s story, he started suffering 40 seizures from the fourth day after his birth. When even after taking six anti-epileptic medicines a day couldn’t control the seizures, doctors in Goa told his father to take him to Mumbai for operation. First the Mandrekars went to two private hospitals, but then opted to KEM Hospital when they couldn’t afford the bills. Mr. Narayan who works in a shop said that all this roaming took over three months.
Naksh was admitted to a semi public hospital and then transferred to KEM on October 2 for neurosurgery in India. Dr. Ravat and neurosurgeon, Dr. Dattatraya Muzumdar of KEM Hospital said that surgery should be offered at the earliest to children with severe epilepsy so that the damage to their brain can be checked at the earliest. Dr. Muzumdar said, “In the West, it is now accepted that surgery for children under three years of age helps to preserve their cognitive skills.” According to Dr. Gadgil, “The American Academy of Neurology recommends surgery to patients whose seizure cannot be controlled with two medicines daily.”
During Naksh’s first month, his parent’s noticed that his left eye, hand and leg would get deviated several times a day. Narayan said that this happened every few minutes and doctors diagnosed this as seizures.
Dr. Muzumdar, “Naksh’s scans revealed that he had fronto-central cortical dysplasia which is the common cause for epilepsy.” Dr. Ravat said, “We did a comprehensive video EEG (electroencephalography) to locate the chunk in the right side that was causing the seizures.” He added that neither the memory nor visual sites in the brain were affected. His father said that now he feeds from a spoon and smiles at us when we talk to him and he is happy with his son’s progress.
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