|Wednesday, October 11, 2000,
Surgery on PM successful
MUMBAI, Oct 10 — The 90-minute knee replacement surgery carried out on Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee this morning at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital was successful, said doctors attending on the Prime Minister. Mr Vajpayee was resting peacefully, it was learnt.
The surgery began at 9.30 am and was over just before 11. The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani who reached Mumbai last night visited the Prime Minister early this morning and spent about 40 minutes with him. He was expected to leave for Delhi on Wednesday.
According to Dr Sanchetti who was part of the medical team which performed the operation, the Prime Minister was totally relaxed and cheerful before the surgery. This was confirmed by Mrs Namita Kaul Bhattacharya, the foster daughter of the Prime Minister, who along with her husband, was camping at the hospital.
Dr Ranawat’s team which consisted of Dr Goytizoko Enrique, staff nurse Sylese Bagley and technician Clifton Kea, left their hotel after a light breakfast around 7 am. The medical team was assisted by Dr Sanchetti, Dr Nandu Laud, Dr Harish Bhende. The medical team performed a number of routine tests on the Prime Minister last evening. The blood sugar level, blood pressure, heartbeat were all absolutely normal. The Prime Minister had a light dinner of roti and dal, it was learnt.
Meanwhile, scores of organisations in Mumbai held special pujas and prayers for the Prime Minister’s speedy recovery from the surgery. Some of the city BJP stalwarts said they would organise a ‘navchandi yagna’ at the Mumbaidevi temple to pray for the Prime Minister. The Breach Candy Hospital authorities said that they had received hundreds of telegrams wishing the Prime Minister a speedy recovery.
The hospital authorities also confirmed that the Prime Minister would be charged for the surgery as well as the occupancy of the 14 rooms on the seventh floor. The total bill was expected to be around Rs 4.5 lakhs. Dr Ranawat, however, was not charging his usual fee to operate on Mr Vajpayee. Official sources also denied that the Ambanis, a leading industrial group, were footing the bill for the surgery.
Life inside the hospital was near-normal. Visitors of other patients in the hospital, said they were not harassed though they were put through additional security checks. The traffic outside the hospital chaotic even on normal days, was slightly worse on Tuesday. But by afternoon, the deployment of additional traffic police improved the situation.
PTI adds: Mr Vajpayee, who was conscious during the surgery, had not been put on sedatives and his pain was being relieved “regionally”, Mr Ranawat said.
The Prime Minister who looked cheerful and in good spirits before the operation, would receive physiotherapy from today itself and he would start walking a bit from tomorrow.
Walking out of the hospital would take some five to 10 days for Mr Vajpayee who would not entertain any phone calls for next two to three days, Dr Ranawat said.
Dr Ranawat said Mr Vajpayee would receive physiotherapy from today and start walking a bit from tomorrow.
He will be able to walk out of the hospital sometime between 5 and fifteen days, he said.
Dr Ranawat also informed that Mr Vajpayee suffers from osteoarthritis in his right knee also but “we do not have any immediate plans for its operation”.
Union Minister for Information Technology Pramod Mahajan told reporters that President K.R. Narayanan had telephoned and enquired about the operation.
Mr Mahajan said no visitor would be allowed for two to three days and the Prime Minister would not entertain any telephone calls.
Union Home Minister L.K. Advani, who too was present at the press briefing said, “I met the Prime Minister after my arrival here last night and found him in good spirits”.
When asked about diet restrictions for Mr Vajpayee, the surgeon said “everyone who undergoes this operation is on diet restriction for initial two to three days”. Elaborating on the osteoarthritis of right knee in Mr Vajpayee’s case, the New York-based surgeon said “it is hard to quantify the extent of damage to the right knee but it can be described as somewhere around moderate”.
Dr Ranawat, who has performed over 3000 such surgeries, strongly recommended the use of cane by Mr Vajpayee. To a query, as to what Vajpayee said during the operation, Dr Ranawat’s cryptic reply was “a surgeon does not talk to his patient during operation”. Mr Vajpayee will be able to walk normally and indulge in moderate amount of squatting after full recovery, he said.
The surgeon ruled out any limp following the operation saying “a limp is rare after such kind of surgeries”.
Exactly 12 hours before Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee underwent surgery, he watched “Kaun Banega Crorepati”, hosted by megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Star Plus.
Later he had a brief meeting with Union Home Minister L.K. Advani on the seventh floor of the Breach Candy Hospital, where he has been admitted, a spokesperson in the Prime Minister’s Office said. The Prime Minister has received “get well soon greetings” from almost all the Governors, Chief Ministers and his individual friends.
A special message was received by the Prime Minister’s Office from Ajmer Sharif’s Durgah Kwajah praying for Mr Vajpayee’s early recovery.
Meanwhile, a UNI report said Attorney-General Soli Sorabjee was also operated upon by Dr Chittranjan Ranawat for his right knee ailment at Breach Candy Hospital on Tuesday later on the day.
NEW DELHI (UNI): The Congress has wished speedy recovery to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee but said suitable alternative arrangements should have been made in Delhi to run the government in his absence.
This is a serious situation and the Prime Minister is not expected to rule from his hospital bed especially when he is heading a weak coalition government of more than 20 parties, Congress spokesperson Ajit Jogi said. This is the first time such a situation has arisen, he added.
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