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Jaslok Hospital Successfully Performs Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery on a 99-Year-Old Woman

Mumbai, 11th August: 99-year-old Mayawati Tambe, who fell in her village and was bedridden owing to severe back pain was given new life at Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre.   This patient is oldest in Western India who underwent Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Dr Manish Kothari, Endoscopic Spine Surgeon at Jaslok Hospital performed the surgery. Mayawati Tambe is now able to walk on her own as a result of the surgery’s success and multidisciplinary care she received at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre which wasn’t an easy task considering her age and surprise diagnosis that came after admission.

Mayawati Tambe was brought to Jaslok Hospital for treatment, where the specialists discovered she weighed only 26kg. She was very frail although she was self-sufficient prior to the fall. Doctors and specialists at Jaslok Hospital discovered that the patient had a fractured (crushed) vertebra in her spine, and even breathing movements were painful.

The 99-year-old patient developed bacterial pneumonia (potentially fatal at this age) due to poor breathing movements because of the spine pain and unable to even sit. Hence she was transferred to ICU for higher care. The specialists at Jaslok Hospital increased her antibiotic prescription while also evaluating her for any hidden sites of infection, such as the heart valves. A transoesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) was performed for the same purpose by Dr Nikesh Jain, Consultant Cardiology. The patient responded well to the new regimen, having infection under control and nutrition improved.

Dr Shruti Tandan, Consultant Internal Medicine and Critical Care specialist at Jaslok Hospital said “At 99 Mayawati is likely to be one of the oldest ICU patients who has battled a serious bacterial infection without the need for organ support.

However as she improved a new diagnosis was discovered in the form of a mass in the lung. Dr Shrinivas Desai, Director- Imaging & Interventional Radiology, Jaslok Hospital performed a biopsy of the lung lesion under CT scan under local anaesthesia and discovered an Adenocarcinoma in the lungs, which is presently being medically handled by Dr Reetu Jain, Director- Bone Marrow Transplant, Jaslok Hospital. As a result, the multidisciplinary team of specialists at Jaslok Hospital assisted the patient in reviving and becoming fit to undergo the minimally invasive spine surgery for which she had been admitted.

Dr Manish Kothari, Consultant Endoscopic Spine Surgery at Jaslok Hospital said, “Mayawati Tambe underwent minimally invasive spine surgery termed Cement Augmentation (vertebroplasty) after optimisation, in which the spinal fracture space was repaired with medical grade PMMA cement. This immediately stabilises the fracture and provides fast pain relief. The treatment is completed with just local skin anaesthetic, which is the cherry on the cake. Given the patient’s age and medical issues, this was the ideal option because even the frailest of the patients can benefit from this technique, which provides rapid pain relief within minutes of the procedure. However, the technique of cement injection is critical and should only be performed by experts only.”

Speaking on her ordeal Mayawati Tambe, said, “One week on bed was very depressing post the fall as I was dependant on my son and others for everything. I thank Dr Manish for giving me back my independent life”.


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