Nandurbar woman breathes freely after a year

The 22-year-old from a tribal village had to breathe through her mouth due to a huge cyst that blocked her nasal passage. She finally had it removed at Sassoon Hospital, Pune, on Thursday

A woman from a tribal area in Nandurbar, Maharashtra, will now breathe freely through her nose after nearly a year. The reason: a huge cyst had developed around Khatibai Thakare’s nose, blocking her nasal passage and forcing her to breathe from her mouth. She finally had the cyst removed on Thursday at Sassoon Hospital, Pune.

Nandurbar woman breathes freely after a year
Khatibai Thakare before operation

Khatibai hails from a tribal village so remote that electricity there is as recent as last year. There is no hospital in the village and the dwellers there have to depend on a doctor, who visits once a week. The 22-year-old developed a dentigerous cyst that develops around the crown of an uninterrupted tooth. This leads to obstruction of flood flow and creates accumulation of fluid, leading to infection and consequently, a cyst.

Such cysts can be easily cured if they are treated at early stages. Khatibai’s case became risky as it took her a year to get it treated. Doctors said the size of the cyst in her case was unusual. While in majority of cases, dentigerous cysts are around one by one centimetre, in her case it measured around four by five centimetres. The cyst had grown so big that it blocked her nasal passage.

Nandurbar woman breathes freely after a year
Khatibai Thakare after her operation

The doctors at Sassoon Hospital successfully removed the cyst in an operation that lasted two-and-half hours. Dr Samir Joshi, professor and head, ENT department, B J Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, who headed the team for the operation, said, “Earlier this year, the state government had arranged a medical camp called ‘Satpuda Bhavya Aarogya Shibir’ in Nandurbar district. Khatibai had come to that came and she was referred to Sassoon Hospital. As her condition was severe, and the cyst was really big, she could not be operated at any hospital in Nandurbar.”

“The biopsy test results will be out in two to three days, but we don’t think it is anything apart from a dentigerous cyst. It is an unusual case and this is the first time we have carried out such an operated at Sassoon Hospital. We have also done the primary plastic surgery, post operation. We expect to discharge the patient in a week,” he added.

This is the first time Khatibai and her husband has visited a city. They work as daily wage agricultural labourers, and she had to stop work for nearly a year because of her health. The entire cost of the surgery and travel expenses has been borne by Maharashtra government.

Ukhadya, Khatibai’s husband, said, “My wife has not been able to work or eat solid food for nearly a year. The cyst was very painful. Apart from consulting a village doctor, we had even also consulted a doctor form Surat. But no one could find a cure for her.”

Khatibai, meanwhile, managed to speak to My Medical Mantra even with the dressing on her nose, which is expected to come off in three days. “It was very painful,” she said softly. “I could not eat and my throat would be dry all the time. I am happy that I will finally be able to breathe through nose,” she added.