Pune: Enhance, an organization dedicated to Head & Neck Prosthetic Reconstruction and Rehabilitation, recently organized an international medical conference on anaplastology-a branch of medicine dealing with the prosthetic rehabilitation of an absent, disfigured, or malformed anatomically critical location of the face or body.
Founders of Enhance, Dr. B. Srinivasan & Dr. Anjali Srinivasan along with Dr. Vijaysinh More, and Dr. Vijay Mabrukar welcomed close to 150 delegates across Asia and Africa. The event was presided over by the Hon. Secretary-cum Treasurer of the Indian Prosthodontic Society, Dr. V. Rangarajan. The main aim of the event was to address the issue of physical disfigurements of Head and Neck Cancer survivors, which happens as an after-effect of Cancer treatment. During the event, Dr. Rangarajan and star faculty Mr. Keith Thomas – Consultant Clinical Specialist, St. Andrews Institute of Prosthetics, Bloomfield Hospital, UK along with a host of luminaries – Ms. Emma Worrel – Maxillofacial Prosthetist, Queen Victoria Hospital, UK, Mr. Balasubramanian – Chairman of the Enhance Trust, Ms.Balasubramanian, Trustee, Dr. Sumit Basu – Radiation Oncologist, Ruby Hall Cancer Centre, Dr. Suhasini Nagda – Director, Medical Education and Major Hospitals,Mumbai, Adv. Asfaq Kadiani – Advocate,Kadiani and Associates and CAs Ms and Mr.Joshi – M/s Pranjal Joshi and Co. inaugurated the philanthropic arm of ENHANCE- the ‘ENHANCE Social Initiative Trust’.
The conference also highlighted the technical steps of fabrication of an artificial ear, eye, nose and finger using appropriate artificial substitutes. The conference had an outreach session wherein Mr. Keith Thomas and Dr. Srinivasan saw patients with facial defects, together. Patients had come from as far as Jaipur, for consultation with the experts. During the sessions, Mr. Keith Thomas along with Ms. Emma Worrell and Dr. Tarjani Dave – Oculoplastic Surgeon,L.V.Prasad Eye Institute,Hyderabad treated the audience to an academic fest. Mr.Keith Thomas highlighted the need for the surgeon and the maxillofacial prosthodontist to be working together at every step, in each of his presentations. Ms Emma Worrell outlined the step-by-step procedure to make a customized artificial eye. She outlined how every part of the eye can be fabricated separately and then assembled. She exhibited how it would then be very difficult to differentiate the artificial eye from the natural one. Dr. Tarjani Dave outlined how implants can be used to anchor artificial eyes.
Close to 50 delegates were also trained exclusively in the art of fabrication of an artificial ear. The training was exhaustive and the delegates had ample time to go through the step-by-step procedure and fabricate the same, themselves. At the end of the hands-on training, every delegate had an artificial ear to take back home.
“A conference of this nature and dimension is the need of the hour. The Indian Prosthodontic Society would always support activities in this niche area of prosthetics impacting millions of patients in our country. I commend ENHANCE on their pioneering endeavour.” Dr.Rangarajan said.
Dr. B. Srinivasan, Managing Trustee of the ENHANCE Social Initiative trust addressed the issue of after effects of Cancer treatment and said. “Cancer has always had a connotation of survival. With strides in medicine and surgery, the number of people surviving cancer is increasing. Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer treatment, are often confronted with physical disfigurement leading to impaired aesthetics, functional problems with chewing, speech and swallowing and emotional issues.These need to be addressed to enhance their quality of life post cancer care”
Dr. Srinivasan further comments, “Birth defects like cleft lip and palate preclude a normal life to thousands of children in our country. ENHANCE Social Initiative would work to make Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of patients with head and neck cancer, and cleft lip and palate affordable and accessible.”
“Outreach was an important component of our conference. It ensured that the faculty’s experience benefited not just professionals but also some patients”, opined Dr.Anjali Srinivasan, co-founder of ENHANCE
“An artificial eye, ear or nose can make patients more confident and comfortable about their appearance”, opined Mr.Keith Thomas.”“Osseointegrated implants can change the way artificial facial prostheses are anchored” he added.
Dr. Vijaysinh More felt “This was the first of its kind Conference in India exclusively in the field of anaplastology. We hope to get more professionals interested.”
Dr.Vijay Mabrukar adds, “There is an urgent need for professionals to get trained in this niche area to address the needs of lakhs of patients in our country.”