Pareira was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011 after she vomited blood and had to be hospitalised.
In a first in India, a gastric cancer in its early stages was removed through endoscopic intervention from 77-year-old Philomena Pareira's body on March 20. Doctors from Global Hospital, Parel, where the surgery was conducted, claimed that the three-hour operation — endoscopic submucosal dissection — was possible because the cancer had not progressed into an advanced stage.
In cancers of the digestive tract, gastric cancer is the second most common after oesophageal. Dr Amity Maydeo, gastroenterologist at Global Hospital, who operated on Pareira, said, "Through endoscope, we shaved off the cancerous cells layer by layer in the stomach. In every layer, a circular disc like section was operated upon before we proceeded to the next layer."
Pareira was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011 after she vomited blood and had to be hospitalised. In 2012, she underwent surgery to remove the cancerous cells.
"After her surgery, she was regularly undergoing endoscopic check-ups," said Maria Yeralkar, Pareira's daughter. In March, her tests showed signs of cancerous cells.
"We decided to opt for this technique, which has been practised in the West," said Maydeo, who did a similar endoscopic surgery in 2012 to treat oesophageal cancer. While the operation involves a simple technique, complications may lead to excessive bleeding and perforation.
"The cancerous cells were about to reach the second layer in her stomach. We operated on the first layer. If it had advanced beyond the second layer, then the risk involved would have increased, and endoscopy would not have been possible," Maydeo added.
Pareira, a resident of Mira Road, was discharged on Wednesday.
"Since it was merely an endoscopic intervention, the operation was over quickly. She was earlier feeling weak. We hope that after the second operation, she recovers," said Yeralkar