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Category: Surgical topics

Surgical topics

Replacing a Burnt Gullet

Replacing a Burnt Gullet

“A difficult but rewarding task” Continuing my previous story, this is a summary of my experience in treating patients suffering from burnt gullets / stomach which includes in brief the surgical procedures used to relieve their suffering by replacing the burnt gullet with another segment of the digestive tract illustrated with photographs and X rays. Unable to take in the required nourishment for survival these patients were in a poor state of health at the time of admission to the…

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‘The Tragedy of a Burnt Gullet’

‘The Tragedy of a Burnt Gullet’

Part 1 Let me begin with a short story … For 42- year old Somalatha, working overseas as a housemaid promised to be that fabled ‘green pasture’. Having slogged as a servant in Colombo households to earn a living, the prospect of going abroad held much appeal. She dreamt of a new country, a new life, a new job, and a new lease to her existence, having suffered much along life’s rocky road. It was with this hope and anticipation…

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The Chilling Bowel Twist

The Chilling Bowel Twist

According to the English dictionary, the word twist has many meanings; it may mean to turn something, or change, to change the meaning of facts of a statement or distort. It also refers to a dance, the twist, in which people stay in one place and twist their bodies from side to side to music- a dance performed with strenuous gyrations especially of the hips. This reminds me of the song by Chubby Checker, THE TWIST which was popular in…

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Silva back at his “Wheel”

Silva back at his “Wheel”

A brush with death in a midnight crash and a huge gash on his neck Silva never expected to live another day to relate his story, but HE DID! Silva was a 27 year old young man who earned a living by driving his own three wheeled trishaw taxi. He used to work from morning and sometimes till midnight to earn a substantial income for his living. He has had many brushes with death like all 3 – wheeled trishaw…

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HAIR SCARE

HAIR SCARE

A Wig in a Child’s Stomach Little  Iresha  is  admitted  to  my  ward  with  abdominal  pain On 8th June 2008 a 14-year old girl, Iresha, from a remote District in Sri Lanka came with her parents and was admitted to my ward at Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital, Nugegoda (SJGH).  Little did everyone realise that “little” Iresha would attract much publicity sooner or later. Two weeks later Iresha’s story was published in many English and Sinhala Newspapers in Sri Lanka without…

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From Darkness to Light

From Darkness to Light

The Story of Lalitha: “first she couldn’t swallow, then she had no food to eat” “He brought them out of darkness and gloom, and broke their bonds asunder” (Psalm 107:14) May 1990 Lalitha was a 29 year old spinster, the only child in the family living with her mother Somawathie, a rubber tapper earning a daily wage. Following an argument Lalitha tried to commit suicide by swallowing Acetic acid (referred to as rubber acid by those in that occupation and…

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Premasiri (Mr Banku)* walks again!

Premasiri (Mr Banku)* walks again!

“whatsoever  you  do  to  the  least  of  my  brothers  that  you  do  unto  me” (Matthew 25:40) This story is about Premasiri, a thin and tall 35 year old farmer sporting a beard. His hometown was Polonnaruwa, but was working in the sugar cane cultivations in Hingurana situated in the Ampara District of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. One day, while driving in Polonnaruwa, I noticed a young man sitting on a very low stool by a way-side boutique. He…

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Moans, Groans and Kidney Stones

Moans, Groans and Kidney Stones

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) of unknown aetiology is the most common kidney disease prevalent in the North-Central Province of Sri Lanka today and so it is in Polonnaruwa as well. However, in the 1980’s when I worked there as the Surgeon this condition was unheard of and by far the most common form of kidney disease that I encountered in the surgical ward was Kidney Stones. What are kidney stones, where do they form? What is their chemical composition? A…

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Reminiscence of Six Exciting Years as a Surgeon

Reminiscence of Six Exciting Years as a Surgeon

Base Hospital, Polonnaruwa (1982-1988) My first posting I was 32 years old, just returned after qualifying as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) and a post graduate training in the UK. After a short spell as the Resident Surgeon of the Accident Service of the General Hospital Colombo, I asked for a transfer from this unit. I was offered the post of Consultant Surgeon at the Base Hospital, Polonnaruwa. I was in two minds. I had never…

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