07 June Wednesday

Black fungus damages 75% Skull; 30-year-old back to life after 3D Surgery at Lakeshore, Kochi

Web Desk‌Updated: Saturday Feb 26, 2022

Kochi: The Neurosurgical team at VPS Lakeshore Hospital has performed a rare Post Mucormycosis. Reconstruction of Skull on a 30-year-old gentleman. It is one of the largest cranial implant reconstructions in the country and probably in Asia. The patient had earlier undergone an extensive skull bone removal due to a severe fungal infection. He also had a very prolonged treatment period after the surgery. . But later after two years he was left with a huge skull defect with almost 75% of the skull being removed following the devastating infection which resulted in a severe aesthetic deformity. He was admitted to VPS Lakeshore Hospital for a detailed reconstructive surgery.

It was in 2020, that the patient developed severe pneumonia and a severe fungal infection of the skull. It was evaluated and found out to be mucormycosis otherwise called Black fungus. Unfortunately, by the time it was diagnosed it had spread extensively over his skull. The patient underwent a major surgery at another major hospital where almost 75% of his skull was removed due to the fungal invasion.

But following the major procedure and prolonged post operative treatment, the patient was left with a very large defect in his skull causing severe disfigurement and the large cranial defect posed a high risk of direct injury to the brain if left uncovered. It had also significantly compromised the patients’ appearance, social life, and self-confidence. So the Neurosurgical team at VPS Lakeshore Hospital decided on a detailed cosmetic reconstruction. It was a very detailed 3D surgical reconstruction of the skull defect using a customised patient-specific titanium cranial implant.

The surgery which lasted for more more than 3 hours was led by Dr. Arun Oommen (Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon) and  Dr.Sudish Karunakaran (Senior Consultant & HOD — Neurosurgery). In this extremely rare procedure, they surgically exposed the defect, removed the resorbed bone fragments, and reconstructed the entire region using the patient-specific titanium implant.  Dr.C Anil (Associate Consultant Neurosurgeon), Dr. Ajay Kumar (Consultant Neurosurgeon), Dr. Francis Manavalan — Chief of Neuro Anaesthesia, and Dr. Anu (Consultant Anaesthetist) were part of this procedure.

The custom-made titanium implant created by Lucid implants an international medical technology company has now exactly restored the contour of the skull and face , restoring the patients’ appearance and function of protecting the skull. The company claims that this is the largest skull
implant that they have created and can be the largest one in Asia till date. There is a significant improvement in patients’ quality of life post-surgery. Now the patient is safe and back to normal life.