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Akshita's Triumph: AIIMS Delhi Creates History with Awake Craniotomy on Youngest Patient

AIIMS Delhi has once again made medical history with a successful awake craniotomy on five-year-old Akshita, addressing a left perisylvian intraracial brain tumor. Awake craniotomy involves keeping the patient conscious during surgery to safeguard critical brain areas from potential harm.

AIIMS has previously conducted such surgeries, but Akshita’s situation is distinctive because of her young age, which is atypical for a surgery of this complexity. Globally, surgeries of a comparable nature have been undertaken on children starting from the age of 8 years, based on available data, according to doctors.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Deepak Gupta emphasized the uniqueness of Akshita’s case, given the tumor’s proximity to the language area on the left side of her brain. He praised her courage and cooperation during the surgery, highlighting her pain-free experience.

To prepare Akshita, her parents used videos, objects, and animals, later utilized for identification during the surgery. Dr. Gupta mentioned employing ice-cold saline on the brain surface to prevent seizures.

Prof Mihir Prakash Pandia from the neuro-anaesthesia department discussed the unexpected cooperation from the young patient, underscoring the challenges in securing such active participation.

Measuring 21.7×21.7×24.4 mm, the tumor required approximately 16-18 nerve-blocking injections. The three-hour surgery involved a team of seven doctors, supported by paramedics and technicians. Akshita’s father, Rakesh Yadav, expressed gratitude for AIIMS doctors’ unwavering support.

This journey began in August 2020 when Akshita started experiencing repeated episodes of falling and seizures. Following numerous medical consultations, a brain tumor diagnosis was confirmed. Despite the risks associated with awake craniotomy due to the tumor’s location in the speech area, the family chose this approach for potentially better outcomes.

Now speaking confidently, Akshita shared her experience, expressing no fear during the surgery. She eagerly anticipates returning to school in two weeks, following doctors’ advice to rest until then. Her upcoming birthday celebration in March is something she looks forward to.

Source: Inputs from various media Sources

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Priya Bairagi

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