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Tata Memorial Hospital conducts 494 surgeries amid pandemic

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Nearly 64 per cent of these patients were from outside Mumbai and Maharashtra

Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) has managed to successfully conduct 494 major elective cancer surgeries during the pandemic.

At a time when cancer surgeries are either being deferred, postponed or cancelled, TMH has conducted major elective surgeries in a ‘COVID-19 hotspot’, a statement from the hospital said.

A paper about the work was published in medical journal Annals of Surgery from Harvard, USA, the release stated.

“As many as 494 elective cancer surgeries were performed in the period of five weeks, starting from the date of national lockdown till the end of April,” Deputy Director of the hospital, Shailesh V Shrikhande said.

Nearly 64 per cent of these patients were from outside Mumbai and Maharashtra, he said.

“We were able to offer curative surgery to all our patient’s thanks to the service culture of Tata Memorial and the highly specialised teams of surgeons and other support staff,” said Shrikhande, who is also the lead author of the paper.

At least 85 per cent of these operations were major or supra-major and there was no post-operative mortality recorded in these difficult times, he added.

However, despite all standard precautions and testing, six patients had tested positive for coronavirus in the post-operative period, Shrikhande said.

Meanwhile, director of Tata Memorial Centre Rajendra A Badwe said the hospital’s experience of successfully conducting 40 to 50 per cent of elective cancer surgeries in a ‘COVID-19 hotspot’ should be of interest to the scientific community and general public.

These results support the view that major cancer surgeries can be undertaken in regions with COVID-19 trends similar to the conditions in India, he said. 

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