The quest to conceive for the second time woman travels from Kashmir to Bangalore

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4 December 2019- Even though Kashmir is the crown of the nation, it has often been seen differently than the rest of the states of the country due to various reasons that surround the area. There has often been an image of Kashmiri people being suppressed and Kashmiri women living under restricted parameters not having a say for their own choices. However, this is mostly an outsider’s perspective which does not always hold true for those who actually live there. A recent case of a Kashmiri woman travelling all the way from the northernmost state to almost the southern part of the country is a significant example of how medical science successfully transcends all differences and boundaries.

A 37-year-old Kashmiri woman Salma (name changed) who was mother to a child suffered from an extremely serious medical condition. With no medical history earlier, she was diagnosed with fibroids and was told by multiple doctors in Kashmir that the only way to remove the fibroid was to remove her uterus which meant she could not conceive and give birth in future.

Women have the most distinct and special gift to carry and nurture a whole new life within themselves. There’s hardly a woman who wants to give up this feeling of having a baby and Salma was no different. She wanted to have more children in the future and hence wished to save her uterus. Despite being disappointed after the hospitals in Kashmir denying to perform a surgery to save her uterus, Salma did not give up. After Salma received a referral from one of her friends about Dr. Mukta Nadig in Columbia Asia Hospital, Hebbal, she decided to travel all the way with a hope to find a way out of her medical situation.

Fibroids are abnormal non-cancerous growths that develop in or on the uterus of a woman, often during the childbearing years. Also referred to as uterine fibroids, these growths range in from being the size of a seedling (unnoticeable by the human eye) to huge masses that can enlarge or even deform the uterus. Mostly these are not identified by the patient as they have no major symptoms but sometimes severe abdominal pain and heavy periods are experienced.

Some of the symptoms that have been identified for fibroids include:

Heavy menstrual bleeding
Inability to conceive
Periods lasting over a week
Pelvic pain or pressure
Urinating frequently
Difficulty in emptying the bladder
Leg pains or backache

“Salma came to us with a huge fibroid and her hemoglobin level was 6.4 at that time. It was a complicated case where we had to remove the fibroid and at the same time save the uterus as the patient desired to have children in the future, which was not possible without the uterus. The only way to do so was by going ahead with a myomectomy,” said Dr. Mukta Nadig, Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal, Bengaluru.

Myomectomy is the operational procedure to remove fibroids while keeping the uterus safe. Women who are observed with symptoms of uterine fibroids but wish to have children have myomectomy as their best treatment option. During the surgery, the surgeon has a severely complex task at hand of taking out the symptom-causing fibroids and in a way reconstruct the uterus. It certainly is among the most complicated surgical procedures.

“In this particular case, the fibroid was 15*15 cm big which is comparable to a 6-7 months old fetus. Also, Salma was severely anemic when she came to the hospital and was experiencing heavy periods. The fibroid was degenerative as the tissue was very fragile and soft, making it difficult to remove. Since the fibroid was big the risks involved the increased chances of bleeding during surgery, damage to the neighboring organs and uterine artery,” added Dr. Nadig.

Some of the possible complications in such severe cases of myomectomy include:

Excessive bleeding
Harm to nearby organs
A hole (perforation) in the uterus
Scar tissue that can block the fallopian tube or cause fertility problems
New fibroids that require another removal procedure
However, with the efficiency and expert handling at Columbia Asia Hospital, Salma had a successful surgery. Not only that, even post the surgery she is doing perfectly fine. Even when most of the hospitals in the country denied to find a solution for Salma, her journey across the nation from Kashmir to Bengaluru with her hope and determination to stand by her choice did prove fruitful for her, thanks to Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal.