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One kidney, 123 stones and alive!

By AMIT DASGUPTA
PUNE, August 14

Manohar Bhikhaji Pawar, an executive engineer with the state irrigation department, could perhaps make it to the record books. He was born with only one kidney and doctors removed 123 stones from it. Pawar lived to tell the tale.

His extraordinarily experience began on a summer night in 1992. Pawar was then posted at Satara. He was returning to his quarters on his motorcycle when he met with a minor accident. A local doctor treated him. Thereafter, a peculiar problem cropped up. Whenever he would lie on his back his head would reel.

Pawar consulted Dr Ravindra Harshe, a well known physician at Satara. He was advised some routine pathological tests which revealed traces of unlikely chemicals in his urine. The physician referred him to a radiologist, Dr Patil, for a x-ray of his kidneys.

The radiologist report was a shock to Pawar. His doctor informed him the x-ray revealed that he had been born with only one kidney. And this single organ was filled with multiple stones of varying sizes. However, his doctor informed him that one in every few thousand humans are born with only one kidney, and can lead a perfectly normal life. But that was a small consolation for Pawar, knowing that his single kidney was full of stones. His doctor referred him to a urologist, Dr Lavangar.

It was the urologist's turn to be surprised; especially because 35-year old Pawar has displayed no visible signs of discomfort till then. He informed Pawar that he would have to undergo surgery immediately. It was difficult for him and his family to come to grips with the situation.

He was referred to the well known senior urologist, Dr Patankar, at Pune. Under constant monitoring, subsequent x-rays revealed, that his kidney had enlarged. It was beyond the scope of treatment with ultrasound. He recalls Dr Patankar telling him, "You have a virtual bomb ticking inside your abdomen. Anything could happen any day. You will have to undergo major surgery."

Pawar was operated in March last year at Poona Hospital here. He remembers the trepidation writ large on the faces of his family members as he was wheeled into the operation theatre. I did not know what would happen. I had never experienced surgery in my life. I was frightened, he now says. But, I had confidence in the doctors, he adds.

The surgery lasted seven hours. The doctors had removed nothing less than 123 stones of varying sizes from his single kidney. No one in the team of surgeons had encountered anything like this before. Neither could any of them recall having read of such a case. It was unprecedented, the doctors told Pawar.

It took him a few weeks to recuperate. Happily, he is perfectly normal now. Except for avoiding some foods, homeopathic, medicines and periodic check ups, he is the same man he used to be. Except, his belief in medical science has been irrevocably strengthened.