The Telangana government is readying to tighten the medical ethics norms to govern cosmetic surgeries. This intervention follows a complaint lodged by the parents of a 23-year-old techie Nikhil Reddy, whose height increasing surgery by a corporate hospital has left him bed ridden.
The Telangana medical and health department has written to the Union Health Ministry and the Medical Council of India to frame guidelines regulating the conduct of cosmetic surgeries done by private hospitals. “We will regulate the cosmetic surgeries that are likely to endanger lives of gullible patients,” Telangana Health Minister C. Lakshma Reddy told The Sunday Guardian on Friday.
Nikhil Reddy’s limb lengthening surgery has stirred a controversy at the national level following a complaint lodged by his agriculturist father S. Govardhan Reddy, who alleged that his son was tricked into this dangerous surgery without anyone in the family being informed about it. He said his son was now bed ridden, unsure whether he would be able to walk properly again.
Nikhil, who works for a software company in the Hi-Tech city area in Bangalore, had paid an advance of Rs 3.5 lakh for the surgery on Monday, so that he would become taller by three inches, from 5 ft 7 inches to 5 ft 10 inches, in three months. Hyderabad based Global Hospitals performed the surgery for a total cost of Rs 7.5 lakh including hospitalisation for a fortnight.
The young patient, who went missing from last Sunday (3 April), was traced by his family after his father lodged a complaint with the Peta Basherabad police station in Cyberabad commissioner limits. The police found Nikhil on Wednesday by tracking his mobile internet though he had switched off his phone since the night of 3 April. When his father and other relatives rushed to the hospital, Nikhil was lying unconscious in the ICU.
On Govardhan Reddy’s complaint, the police lodged cases under IPC Sections 336 (endangering life) and 420 (cheating) against the Global Hospital management and the doctors who had done this surgery, known as Ilizarov (a Russian surgery performed on patients with medical orthopedic problems like uneven limbs).
Telangana State Medical Council (TSMC) took note of the issue and summoned the management of the Global Hospitals and Chandra Bhushan, the orthopedic surgeon who performed the operation on Nikhil Reddy. Both TSMC and the government found fault with the manner in which the operation was carried out without informing the immediate family members of the techie. However, Chandra Bhushan said there was no cheating or willful endangerment to Nikhil’s life. Both Dr Chandra Bhushan and a Global Hospital representative claimed that Nikhil would be normal very soon and that he would walk freely in six months.