Surgeons in Ahmedabad have reconstructed the esophagus of a girl who drank acid. Photo: iStock

Thanks to a special operation, an eight-year-old girl is now able to drink water after almost seven years of being fed through a tube.

Doctors at Vadilal Sarabhai Hospital in Ahmedabad performed a “gastric pull up with esophageal reconstruction” procedure on Neha Ramprakash, who accidentally drank acid when she was 18 months old. She could not even swallow her own saliva as the acid she consumed had severely damaged her esophagus, leaving just 1 cm intact. An artificial tube was inserted in her intestine to feed her a liquid diet.

According to the Times of India, a gastric pull-up involves bringing up the stomach from the abdomen into the chest area and attaching it to the remaining portion of the esophagus.

Neha’s parents, who are daily wage earners in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district, went to several hospitals looking for a solution but were told there was no help was available.

But earlier this month, Neha was accepted for treatment by the gastrosurgery department at VS hospital. Neha was underweight, making the surgery even more complicated.

Dr Hasmukh Vora, an associate professor at VS Hospital, was quoted as saying, “We took a section of her small intestine and replaced the oesophagus, thereby creating a new link between her mouth and stomach.”

Doctors at the hospital found that her internal organs had been damaged by the acid so they decided to make a pipe that attaches the esophagus to the gut, which will allow her to swallow food in future.

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