Shillong, September 06 : An impressive milestone was covered with the first Key Hole (Video Assisted Thoracoscopic- VATS) Esophagectomy, done recently by a team of young dedicated doctors in Civil Hospital. Shillong on a patient diagnosed with Cancer of the Esophagus. The Patient had a good recovery and has been discharged from the hospital. Cancer Esophagus is the most common cancer in Meghalaya and our state has the highest incidence of this cancer in the country.

Traditionally this surgery (Esophagectomy-removal of the food pipe) is performed through a big incision on the chest resulting in severe pain and poor recovery. Dr. Cliff Wanniang and his team, with assistance from Dr. Caleb Harris, Additional Professor, Surgical Oncology, NEIGRIHMS and Dr. Newstar Syiemiong, Anaesthetist, Ganesh Das Hospital along with the Anaesthesia team from Civil Hospital, Shillong, Dr. H. Majaw and Dr. M. Surong successfully conducted the operation, through small “key hole” incisions using special equipment.

The patient has Stage 3 tumor and underwent surgery after receiving 3 cycles of chemotherapy. The entire esophagus was removed following which the stomach was made into a tube, to replace the esophagus.

Currently this surgery is performed only in few selected centres of North East India, like NEIGRIHMS and a few other places, where intensive Intra-Operative and Post Operative care are available. However, it has been made possible for such an operation to be carried out in Civil Hospital Shillong as the hospital is equipped with the latest equipment to perform complex and advance procedures and following an MOU signed with NEIGRIHMS by the Mission Director, NHM for collaboration in Cancer Care.