Temple of Healing
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In Prasanthi Gram did the Lord a Healing Dome Decree
Ailing Hearts and failing eyes, to cure, without a fee.
Soon the rose a stately temple on this ground
To spread health and wellness all around.

Amidst hill and dale and verdant grove,
Stands this beacon of Healing Love,
Our Lord's Message beaming to all,
Love All, Serve All.

(Chief Engineer, SSSIHMS)

Ever since that historic day in November 1991 the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences has made purposeful strides towards fulfilling its destiny under the Divine Guidance of our Beloved Swami.

On the 22nd November 1992, the Department of Uro-Nephrology was commissioned, and a unit for kidney transplantation was inaugurated a year after that. In November 1994, the Department of Ophthalmology was started and the Institute began offering post-graduate programs for training of specialists in Cardio thoracic Surgery, Cardiology, Urology, Anesthesiology and Ophthalmology. With passing years, the existing services in each department also expanded. Computerized Tomography (CT) scanning facility was introduced in November 1996; and the Lithotripsy Center was added to the Department of Urology in June 1999. The SSSIHMS also made advancements in surgeries, other interventions and diagnostics, in keeping with the best practices in centers of excellence, world over.

 Who Needs the Pump Anyway?

Its been two years since Dr.Neelam Desai, Senior Cardiac Surgeon -SSSIHMS, has used a heart-lung machine for a routine Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery. She has totally gone 'off-pump'! A bypass surgery is performed, when the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart (the coronary arteries), are blocked. In a coronary artery bypass surgery, surgeons sew a blood vessel into a coronary artery to reroute blood around a region where it is blocked. Off-pump Bypass SurgeryThere was a time when this surgery, was performed only 'on-pump'. In an on-pump procedure, the heart is stopped and blood is detoured around both the heart and the lungs, but circulated through the rest of the body. However, the use of heart-lung machines can cause potentially fatal complications. Off-pump surgery reduces these problems and has a faster recovery. In the off-pump operation, using a device called the "Octopus", surgeons limit the motion of a portion of the heart, and perform the bypass on a beating heart.Dr.Neelam Desai, who performs 90% of the bypass surgeries 'off-pump', agrees that this procedure is more demanding than the on-pump procedure, but adds, "The patient definitely benefits from the off-pump surgery. Their post-operative stay in the hospital is both, shorter and healthier!"

Shocking the Stone!

For the doctors in the Department of Urology, SSSIHMS, its an odd coincidence the place they work at, is in the Rayalaseema area of Andhra Pradesh; simply translated as the Land of Stones. The incidence of kidney stones (Renal Calculus) in this area is amongst the highest in the country. In the past, all kidney stones were removed surgically. In June 1999, Swami gave the Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripter to the SSSIHMS, at a cost of a few cores of rupees, revolutionizing the removal of kidney stones in the Lithotripter at SSSIHMShospital. With this machine, stones below the size of 3 cm, in the kidney and the ureter, are now removed without any surgery! The stones are first localized using ultrasound or fluoroscopy, and then pulverized into tiny fragments with the application of shock waves. Dr. Ram Gopal, Head of the Department of Urology, opines, "With this method, patients are spared of surgery, consequent hospitalization and post-operative pain. The actual treatment takes about an hour and the patient is discharged within a day. It is really a boon to many of our poor patients, who live on daily wages. They can get back to work soon and the loss of man-hours of work is reduced." To date, over 1500 patients have been treated with the ESWL, and the number grows by the day…

As one enters the soothing premises of the central dome, one clearly sees the most important Message of Bhagawan inscribed on a plaque - "Paropakarartham Idam Sareeram," meaning, the body is given to serve others. That is the guiding principle in whatever Swami does and what He expects the staff to do in this temple of healing. Cutting edge technology, backed by a dedicated team of medical and paramedical personnel, and above all the Divine Grace of Sai, have enabled the hospital in notching up an impressive record. More than five lakh patients have been treated in all the out patient departments over the past nine years. More than ten thousand heart surgeries have alleviated the sufferings of as many families and given new life to them. Thousands more have benefited directly from Urological procedures, some of which were quite complex. Almost ten thousand ophthalmic surgeries have given vision to those with eye defects. Thousands more, admitted in hopeless conditions, have walked back home, healed in body and spirit. When one sits back and contemplates on the enormity of work done, one cannot but wonder at the Divine Love of Sai, who has set an example for all of us to emulate.


Volume 01: PDS / 05 Date : NOV 01 2003