The annual national conference of the Association of Surgeons of India (ASICON 2022) was held between 21st to 24th December 2022 at Kalina, Santa Cruz, Mumbai. It was attended by over 6000 surgeons from across India and abroad. From Mumbai, Bhatia Hospital was one of the key participants, with live colorectal surgeries performed by Dr Pravin Gore, colo-rectal surgeon and proctologist at the hospital and one of the first doctors in India for Botox injection for anal fistula. Many surgeries were performed including video assisted anal fistula treatment (VAAFT) and Botox for anal fistula.
Dr Gore explained, “When there is a breach in the wall of the anus, bacteria get trapped and start growing, and form an abscess. The pus from the abscess is liquid and finds its way out through the skin. Thereby a tunnel is formed, with one mouth in the anus and the other on the skin of the buttocks. This is called a fistula.” To cure a fistula disease and prevent reoccurrence, doctors must tackle the internal source of the infection as well as the branching and spread of the abscess cavity. It is usually a procedure, driven by expertise and technicalities.
During a VAAFT operation, a small 3 mm telescope or a fistuloscope is passed from the outer mouth of the tunnel of the skin; the doctor can see the entire tunnel and locate the region where the bacteria are trapped. That way, no part of the disease goes untreated. When VAAFT is combined with diode laser therapy, the laser energy burns and destroys all the bacteria as well as the infected tissue, thereby assuring a long-lasting cure. Patients feel more comfortable and recovery is more assured.
Dr Gore continued, “Though colo-rectal surgery and proctology is a very well established super speciality across the world, in India it is at a very nascent stage. Bhatia Hospital is the first tertiary care centre in India to start a colo-rectal surgery department, by the honourable surgeon, late Dr P N Joshi, three decades back. So, Bhatia Hospital has almost 30 years of colo-proctology experience”.
Bhatia Hospital is one of the very few hospitals in the country that offer VAAFT. The conference provided an opportunity for the hospital to showcase its operation theatre facilities and advanced laparoscopy centre that has state-of-the art equipment, where patients can get treated by renowned surgeons at affordable rates. More than 15,000 colorectal surgeries have been done at Bhatia Hospital since inception of the department. The hospital also performs complex laparoscopic gastro-intestinal, laparoscopic hepatobiliary and laparoscopic gynaecology surgeries.
A number of medical students, who will be part of the revolution in medical technology in India, also witnessed the operations.