When British tourist Warren Stewart began exploring the ethereal beauty of Ras Al Khaimah, he had no idea he would end up at RAK Hospital in a life and death situation.
Suffering from a sudden excruciating pain and vomiting, Stuart was rushed to the RAK Hospital emergency where a quick clinical diagnosis revealed a ruptured bowel and a large tumour that had completely blocked his colon. This necessitated an emergency laparoscopic surgery with Hartmann’s procedure in order to save his life.
“We found a perforation in his bowel – that is, the colon had a hole in it,” said Senior Specialist, Minimal Access Surgery, Dr. Anup Panigrahi, who did the surgery.
“This is dangerous if left untreated, since the contents of the bowel can leak out, causing inflammation, infection and even abscesses in the abdomen. The issue had to be addressed urgently since Stuart could not even fly back to the UK for treatment in this condition”.
Stuart was operated upon immediately and in a matter of four hours, Dr Panigrahi had surgically removed the tumour from the colon by a process known as laparoscopic sigmoidectomy. In the next 24 hours, Stuart was up on his feet and within 72 hours he was back in his hotel room on his way to recovery.
Laparoscopic Hartmann’s procedure is the removal of an area of the bowel on the left hand side of the abdomen and top end of the rectum that is diseased. The operation is sometimes used as an emergency procedure when the bowel is either obstructed or has a hole in it. The non-invasive surgery is far more convenient in terms of quick recovery time, less post-operative discomfort and risks involved as compared to open surgery.
Typically, the cancer manifests itself through a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, weakness or fatigue, vomiting, abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss. However, according to Dr Panigrahi, in around 40 percent of the people, the cancer is asymptomatic as happened in Stuart’s case.
“This is why we doctors reinforce the need for periodic screening, also called colonoscopy,” added Dr Panigrahi, “This is the best health service one can do to oneself since the disease is the deadliest of the cancers after lung cancer. Ideally, all men over the age of 40 should opt for regular colonoscopy to protect themselves against all kinds of bowel-related diseases.”
Speaking on ways to reduce the risk of colon cancer, Dr Panigrahi suggested a diet that is high on fibre and low on red or processed meat. “Eating fibre helps in fast movement of large intestine since it takes longer to break down fibre and this discourages any cancer growth. Moreover, eating insufficient fibre can lead to constipation, which means cancer causing agents are in contact with the bowel lining for longer and increase cancer risk.” Dr Panigrahi advised people to include more vegetables, fruits, cereals and bread in the diet to avoid colon cancer.
Raza Siddiqui, CEO, Arabian Healthcare Group and Executive Director of RAK Hospital added, “At RAK Hospital, we are acutely sensitive to the emergency needs of our patients, since we realise that loss of time can result in loss of a life. Our medical team is adept at handling emergency situations like these, and attending to complicated surgeries at any given notice.”
The patient Warren Stewart appreciated the quick medical assistance and the care he received at the hospital. “I probably wouldn’t be alive if it hadn’t been for the hospital.
Everything from entering the building to the time I left the hospital was absolutely fantastic and I received first-class care. I would like to thank Dr Panigrahi, his team and the entire medical and support staff at RAK Hospital for all the effort they put in bringing me back on my feet.”