Penang Adventist Hospital, a Seventh-day Adventist institution in Malaysia, achieved a remarkable milestone on August 23 by successfully performing an extraordinary surgery on a 4-year-old patient suffering from osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. This innovative surgery, which uses liquid nitrogen cryotherapy and a unique method of recycling the patient’s damaged bone, is very rare in Malaysia; there have only been six reports of it happening so far.
The patient, diagnosed with a type of bone cancer in the leg, initially underwent chemotherapy to reduce the tumor’s size. However, post-chemotherapy, it was determined that the tumor persisted, necessitating its removal. A unique challenge emerged, as the patient was still in a growth phase and implanting artificial components could pose complications as the patient matured.
Prashant Narhari, consultant orthopedic, traumatologist, and orthopaedic oncologist at Penang Adventist Hospital, spearheaded the effort, collaborating closely with a team of orthopedic oncologists at the institution. The medical team opted for the innovative approach of tumor removal while preserving the afflicted portion of the patient’s bone. This excised bone segment was meticulously cleaned to eliminate any cancerous residues. Subsequently, it was subjected to extreme cold temperatures to ensure the eradication of any remaining cancer cells. Following this, the bone fragment was gently thawed and meticulously reinserted into the patient’s leg.
To secure the treated bone in its proper place, a specialized metal plate and screws were employed. Astonishingly, the entire surgical procedure was completed within approximately 3.5 hours, with no reported complications. The patient was discharged a mere four days after surgery and is experiencing a notable improvement.
“The success of this medical achievement can be attributed to the exceptional teamwork of Penang Adventist Hospital’s dedicated staff, including medical professionals, nurses, and numerous others who played crucial roles in ensuring the surgery’s seamless execution,” institution leaders said. “In the dynamic field of medicine, where novel and advanced treatments continually emerge, Penang Adventist Hospital remains resolute in its commitment to delivering the highest standard of care. The pioneering surgery, characterized by the application of freezing technology and the innovative reintegration of the patient’s bone, underscores the hospital's dedication to expanding the horizons of healthcare possibilities.”
Penang Adventist Hospital’s mission is firmly rooted in demonstrating the love and healing ministry of Christ by providing comprehensive, competent, and exceptional health care for all. To effectively address the needs of those in its care, the institution’s unwavering pursuit of excellence involves continuous quality improvement, institution leaders said. “As an extension of their commitment to their beliefs, Penang Adventist Hospital upholds a code of conduct that mirrors their dedication to reflecting God’s teachings. In keeping with a spirit of godly servant-leadership, the institution emphasizes fostering wholesome, compassionate, and accountable relationships that honor Christ’s holistic healing ministry for all humanity,” they said.