surgical reconstruction of gullet

It is a sad fact that in Sri Lanka, people are in the habit of swallowing corrosive acids accidently mistaking it for water as these acids are stored in bottles without a proper label. This is all the more common in the rubber growing areas of the country as they have acetic acid in their homes. Those in the jewellery trade may ingest nitric acid and those in the battery trade may ingest sulphuric acid. Corrosives such as Harpic may also be ingested with the aim of committing suicide.

These corrosives cause extensive damage to the oesophagus ( gullet ) & stomach. Scarring takes place with time leading to narrowing of the gullet. As a result these unfortunate individuals are unable to swallow their food and become malnourished and whither away while prevention of such acts should be our goal, once the damage is done major reconstructive surgery may be required in some individuals. Restoration of the act of swallowing requires the reconstruction of a new gullet using the stomach or a part of the large bowel. This is a major procedure which takes 4-6 hours. However successful surgery gives these patients a new lease of life.

A project to help these patients has been started at the Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital. Nugegoda by Dr. Gamini Goonetilleke, Consultant Surgeon of this hospital. Each Operation costs around Rs 80,000 /= including in ward care, drugs, investigations, Intensive care, hospital charges for surgery, disposables and nutrition etc ( surgeon does the operation free of charge). Most of the victims of this tragedy are youth in the 10 – 30 age group. They are from the low income group and are not in a position to spend for this major surgical procedure.

Donations are kindly requested from friends & well wishers. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Cash donations could be sent to Dr. Gamini Goonetilleke or direct to a special Savings Account which has been opened for this purpose at the Hatton National Bank Ltd, 1424, Kotte Road, Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka Account of Dr. G Goonetilleke / Savings Account No.036 020047158

Thank you

Yours sincerely

Dr. Gamini Goonetilleke FRCS
Senior Consultant Surgeon
Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital
Nugegoda

A patient who was helped by this fund was featured in the Sunday Times Plus of 21/2/2010 and 28/3/2010 (Titles -Deadly Drink & Suneetha all smiles again)

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