Doctors Successfully Extract Bullet Lodged in Left Ear in Complex Surgery

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Bangalore 20th December, 2023: In a groundbreaking surgical achievement, a team of skilled ENT surgeons led by Dr. Rohit Udaya Prasad along with Dr. Vinayak Kurle of Aster RV Hospital, JP Nagar successfully removed a 3 cm long bullet from the ear of a 29-year-old Yemeni patient who had been living with the foreign object for an astonishing 18 years.

This remarkable case traces back to a tragic incident at the war-ridden landscapes of Yemen, where the echoes of conflict reverberate through the air. Azeez (Name Changed) found himself caught in the crossfire, facing a fate no one should endure. Shot in the head during a harrowing incident, he became an unwitting casualty of war, left to navigate a life marred by unrelenting suffering.

A father of two kids, having his own business back at Yemen, Azeez faced the enduring challenge of deafness, a permanent consequence of the war-inflicted injury. His unbearable continuous misery of pain forced him to take decisions to find permanent solutions and put an end to his sufferings. He embarked on a journey with hope in his heart to find a permanent solution. With lack of proper guidance and access to facilities, skilled medical interventions and inability to decide on outcome of his complex case, he struggled to find the right kind of treatment and was guided by few patients who had visited Aster RV Hospital from Yemen. Seeking medical assistance in a foreign land, placing his trust in the doctors of India, determined to reclaim normalcy.

Dr Rohit Udaya Prasad, Lead Consultant – ENT & Cochlear Implant Surgery, who operated Azeez said, “He came to our hospital with persistent ear discharge and chronic headaches which he explained had since childhood, prompting him to seek a permanent solution. The bullet was deeply lodged in the left temporal bone, very close to the vital vascular structures, which posed a surgical challenge. The surgical team faced obstacles in obtaining clear imaging due to the bullet’s location. MRI was ruled out considering a metal object inside his head. CT Angiography was done to identify the bullet along with its proximity to the vascular structures. We also employed X-ray imaging which provided a two-dimensional perspective. The decision to explore the possibility of removal was made, considering the patient’s persistent symptoms. The surgery was done under general anesthesia carefully removing surrounding bone to access the bullet. We discovered a fibrous capsule around the bullet, preventing it from adhering to vital structures. This allowed us to successfully remove the bullet in one piece.”

Post-surgery, the patient experienced relief from the intense headaches, marking a significant improvement in his overall well-being. The patient was visibly emotional and thankful to have the bullet, a longstanding companion, finally removed. He expressed his relief and joy, knowing that the intense headache that plagued him for years had disappeared. The patient also revealed that he had other metallic objects in his lower limbs from the same incident. However, it was the bullet inside the ear causing significant disturbance and entering a few centimeters into his ears was worth the distance he travelled

The successful surgical intervention not only addressed the immediate health concerns but also brought closure to a chapter that had persisted for almost two decades. The patient who returned to Yemen after the successful surgery has left behind the pain, struggle and the bullet as a unique memento at Aster RV Hospital