World TB Day: ‘Surgery can also be an option for curing TB’

Surgery is the only option if the patient is not cured even by having a drug in a MDR TB. However, many doctors do not even know about TB patients being treated with surgery. In a talk with My Medical Mantra, Dr Lalit Anande, Chief Medical officer of Sewri TB Hospital, talks about eradication of TB and its early diagnosis  

‘Surgery can also be an option for curing TB’

  • In India, 4 lakh people die of tuberculosis (TB) every year.
  • 21 lakh new cases come to the fore each year.
  • 20,000 Crores of rupees were spent in India due to TB.
  • The Prime Minister sent notice to all the chief ministers of the state to focus on TB.

Question: If we say that the number of cases of TB is rising in the country, is it so that the government’s efforts don’t suffice?

Answer: For many years the TB virus has survived in society, so it is difficult to overcome. For this, every person should take care to prevent this disease. Apart from this, the government needs to emphasize on how to increase the immunity of people. It is very difficult to overcome the TB virus.

Q: How can we overcome this disease?

A: Tuberculosis depends on an individual’s immune system. There is a possibility of TB being reduced due to immunosuppressiveness. Everyone should eat nutritious food so that the immunity should be strong.

Q: What are the other types of treatments available on TB patients?

A: Patients with TB of the lungs can be treated with medication. If TB patients are not cured by medication, then surgery is required for them. Many doctors do not know about this surgery. Therefore creating awareness is very important.

Q: What surgery is performed on TB patient and how is it done?

A: The name of this surgery is ‘Video Assisted Thoracoscopic’ (VAT). Often, tuberculosis accumulates in the lungs and cramps in the lungs. This causes the parts of lungs to stick to each other. Surgery is the only option for curing this. In case of untimely treatment, blood often comes out through mouth-to-mouth cough.

At the same time, the upper part of the liver is done through the operation by creating a hole in the upper part of the lobe of one to three centimetres. From this, a tube is taken out of the lungs and blood or pus is taken out. This surgery is very easy, but this time there will be no need to harm the blood vessels, heart and lungs.

Q: Are there medicines available for the treatment of TB?

A: Medicines for the treatment of TB are not available. There are many research initiatives in this regard. ‘Bedaquiline’ drug is available for TB. But these drugs are on clinical trials. The drug has to be patented. However, the price of this drug will increase then.

Q: The government has dreamt that by 2025, India will be TB-free. Do you think this dream of government will come true?

A:  Efforts are being made by the Centre and the State Government to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025. But these efforts do not seem to succeed. The question is how this dream of tuberculosis will come true. However, this is expected not only for the government but all to work together. In order to increase immunity, individuals should focus on eating foods containing ‘vitamin’. If this happens then we can make a decadent free India in the future.