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A stone as big as cricket ball was removed from the bladder of a 52-year-old man in a rare operation for which he opted after 20 years of 'treatment' by quacks and witch doctors.
The stone removed from the blader of Amlesh Kumar, a resident of south Delhi's Sangam Vihar neighbourhood, weighs nearly 450 grams. "Amlesh Kumar had been experiencing pain in his lower abdomen since the past 20 years. He initially ignored this occasional pain and took ayurvedic medicines without proper consultation," said his doctor Manish Singla, senior consultant urologist at Delhi's RG Stone Urology and Laparoscopy Hospital.
While consulting quacks and witch doctors, Amlesh Kumar, a plumber, used to take medicines which brought down pain.
"One morning, when the pain became excruciating and he found difficulty in passing urine, he rushed to a local hospital and then to the RG stone hospital," the doctor said.
Tests at the hospital showed he was suffering with a large stone in urinary bladder.
"Given the size of the stone we opted to perform cystolithotomy instead of the usual minimally invasive procedures. The surgery lasted an hour and the patient is doing very well now," the doctor said.
Cystolithotomy is the surgical removal of bladder stones via a lower abdominal incision.
Doctors from the hospital said that superstition and blind faith in witch doctors and quacks made cases of many other stone patients worse.
"This is very unfortunate that in a city like Delhi, where there are ample of facilities available, people still overlook such problems until it escalates into something serious. Like in this case, the patient had been ignoring the ailment for 20 years and was relying on traditional medicines which were of no help," said Baldev Raj, country head of the hospital.
"All this happens due to lack of awareness. Considering this, we have started a unique programme," he said.
Amlesh Kumar said he was misled into consulting the witch doctors.
"I'm glad that I finally approached the hospital...I had lost all hopes of surviving when I came to know that the stone had become so large," he said.
"I was continuously visiting tantriks because many people told me that it was a case of black magic," he said.
Raj added that the hospital was now planning to run an awareness campaign.
"We will run a medical van across villages of India to educate people about various urological disorders, give them free medical consultation and distribute awareness literature," Raj said.
"This initiative will also help patients who cannot travel to the city to get their check-ups done. As part of corporate social responsibility, RG stone will provide free treatment to poor patients," he said.
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