Libya Patient Gets Successful Cyberknife Surgery in India
Cyberknife Surgery in India – Dr. S. Hukku
My name is Abu Ahmed from Libya and I live with my wife Fatima and two kids. I am 45 years old and my whole world was shattered when one and a half years ago, the doctor said that I had a brain tumor. Just like any regular person, the news came as a bombshell for me. The symptoms had started much earlier when I started getting splitting headaches. My vision would blur and I just could not bear the pain. In the beginning, I thought the headaches to be due to overwork and exhaustion, and like the average person, took pain killers to momentarily reduce the pain. I had doubts from the beginning because the pain killers did not eliminate the pain, whereas earlier when I got a headache once in a while, a single pill was sufficient for it to go away.
Then the headaches became frequents and along with them, I had trouble concentrating on my work as a senior management official in a private company. This was where I and Fatima both decided that something had to be done about it. We went to our family physician and after listening to the symptoms, he said that it is better that I opt for some tests like CT scan and MRI. These would determine the root cause of the problem which turned out to be a brain tumor just as I had thought.
It was still not decided whether the tumor was benign or malignant, and to find that out, I would have to meet an oncologist. This cancer specialist also suggested some tests which I would have to undergo to find out the reality about the tumor. With all my heart and soul, I prayed that the tumor would not be malignant. I repeatedly thought about Fatima and my kids who would be left in a very bad state considering the situation in Libya. Anyway, I went through the tests, while Fatima was even more scared than me. It was a situation like none other before in our lives. In fact, earlier Fatima was my strength and she would support me in any difficult situation. Right now, however, she was totally distraught and I had to provide her with moral support.
Thankfully the result of the tests was negative, which meant that I did not have cancer. We decided to visit a neurologist and brain specialist on the behest of the cancer specialist. He gave us a reference to a good brain specialist and we took an appointment with him. As far as my knowledge of medicine was concerned, I thought that the tumor would be operated upon and removed, after which I could go back to my normal daily life. This was something that I repeatedly told Fatima and her fear subsided a little. Our close circle of friends also came to know about my ordeal and Ali who was especially close to me came forward to support me. He said assuring things which meant that I was not going to die because the tumor was benign. All we had to do was to undergo a surgery which would remove the tumor.
I cannot describe the feeling when the neurologist explained my situation. He said that according to the reports, although my tumor was benign it could not be operated upon. He said that the location and size of the tumor were such that if they conducted a surgery the surrounding brain tissue would get damaged and I could lose one or more of my bodily functions. This meant that my vital functions like eyesight, hearing, etc. could be impaired, or worst still I could end up being partially paralyzed. When I heard this I was totally overcome by fear not for myself, but for Fatima and the kids. Ali had gone with me to the neurologist and he was the one who asked the important question. He asked the doctor that if the tumor could not be operated on, was it possible to apply some other means of treatment.
The doctor said that there was the possibility of getting treatment but that could not be done in Libya because considering the situation that the country was in there was no technical advancement that could deal with the situation. He suggested that I go to some advanced countries like America or the UK for a procedure known as cyberknife surgery. The name of the treatment sounded ominous. However, the doctor said that the surgery was not something to be feared, because although the name sounded like there would be a lot of scalpels and other instruments involved in it, actually that was not the case. He said that cyberknife was a noninvasive radiation therapy that was used to treat both benign and cancerous tumors. However, the doctor who would perform the surgery would be able to provide a proper prognosis of the ailment that I was suffering from.
I was still worried even after the explanation given by the doctor. Ali, however, went on to ask the doctor whether there was any option other than going to the USA or UK for the treatment because that would be too expensive. Although I was working, I had little savings and all of them could not be put at stake. The doctor said that he had heard about medical tourism in India and we could explore that option as well. He said that we would be able to find all answers to the questions in our mind on the internet.
Ali said that he too had heard about people going to India and getting surgical treatments done at a much lower cost than in the advanced western countries. When we came home, he immediately took my laptop and started searching for the truth of medical tourism in India. What he read and saw was quite heartening he said. According to the research that Ali and I conducted in the following couple of days, it became clear that going to India was the best option. Not only was the cost of the different surgical treatments very less in India compared to other advanced western countries, but it was also easy to find doctors with the right skill set in India. In fact, even people from countries like the USA and UK were going to India in order to get expensive surgical treatments done.
Hence we decided that we would go for the cyberknife surgery in India. Now came the question of the choice of the doctor. To this Ali said that he had found a solution to that problem as well. He said that due to the influx of medical tourists to India, some enterprising people had formed agencies specializing in medical tourism. These agencies were very professional and ethical in their mode of working and they had a list of doctors and surgeons with excellent credentials. Hence if we hired the services of medical tourism agency then the problem of looking for a doctor would be over. Not only this, but these agencies would also take care of the medical visa to India, the flight tickets, hotel stay and everything else that would be required on a trip for cyberknife surgery in India.
Then came the task of finding a proper medical tourism company. Just like the earlier research we conducted, we started by searching on the internet. We study the websites of as many agencies as we could and shortlisted 3-4 of them. We placed a call to these agencies and all the calls were answered professionally, but one agency stood out from the rest because the lady who answered the phone was professional but had a very warm tone of voice. She seemed empathetic towards my problem and said that she could be of help. This was an agency called Tour2India4Health- a medical service provider. Even the name seemed interesting, and the warm and friendly attitude of the lady was enough for us to make up our minds regarding the choice of the medical tourism agency. We decided to go with Tour2India4Health group. When we told the lady of our choice, she welcomed us as their clients and said that she would send a list of doctors with their profiles and we should choose the surgeon that seemed best to us. She also asked us to send our travel documents and asked who would be accompanying me.
With the situation as it was, Fatima was not in a mental and emotional state to take on the responsibility of accompanying me. Then again, our kids were small and they needed proper care. This is why Ali said that he would travel with me for the surgery and Fatima could stay back and look after the kids. When I told the lady about our decision she commended us on it and said that it was necessary that the person accompanying me be steady and calm. Ali was certainly in such a state to support me through the ordeal. She sent the list of doctors the next day and said that we could take our time to choose. Meanwhile, she asked us to send her our travel documents so that she could start the formalities for the medical visa and other preparations for the journey. Along with the profiles of the doctors, she also gave the names of a few hotels and asked us to choose the one which we preferred.
When we received the profiles of the doctors, we went through each one of them carefully. Out of all the doctors, the name and picture of Dr. S. Hukku top neurosurgeon in India stood out as the best. This was because none of the surgeries he had performed had developed complications and he also had the experience of working in various top-notch hospitals. He had also got his medical degree from a renowned institute. So we called up the travel agency and told the lady about our choice. She said that we had made a good choice and that Dr. Hukku was very popular with medical tourists from all over the world and belongs to Best hospitals for neurosurgery in India.
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She told us that the medical visa would take about a month and a half, and Dr. Hukku was available for surgery immediately after that. However, she said that we should prepare ourselves for a stay in India for one or two weeks because that was the time that this surgical procedure could take. She asked us to send her my medical records so that she could pass it on to Dr. Hukku who would then give an idea about how long the procedure would take.
Soon we were on a flight to India and when we landed in India we were taken to our hotel by a portly and friendly gentleman, who asked us to eat and rest for the night and he would pick us up at 10 AM to visit Dr. Hukku. We did just as told and he appeared to pick us to dot on time. When we met Dr. Hukku BLK Super Speciality Hospital in Mumbai all my apprehensions regarding the surgery were allayed. He explained the procedure in detail and said that the cyberknife surgery was accurate to the point of a fraction of a millimeter and there would be no damage to the surrounding brain tissue, unlike total brain radiation therapy. The radiation would be passed only to the tumor which would be burned with the radiation. He said that the procedure was totally non-invasive and I could lead a normal day even during the procedure was on. He also asked me to get some tests done again along with an angiogram and after looking at the reports he said that it would take 5 sittings over a period of two weeks because my tumor was a large one. I could go back home once the surgery was over.
The two weeks passed in a flurry and I was really fascinated by the excellent technological advancement that the once poor country of India had made. The surgery went smoothly and I had Successful Cyberknife surgery in India. However, the doctor said that I should be careful and would have to take some medicines regularly because the tumor had a way of coming back. However, one year after the surgery I am totally fit and going about my work the way that I did before the ailment hit me.
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