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India's First Depression Surgery Post Mental Health Act 2017

26 Jun 2023 • A 38-year-old Australian woman who had been battling depression for the past 26 years became the first to undergo a psychiatric operation in Mumbai and perhaps the first in India since the new Mental Healthcare Act was passed in 2017.

According to the provisions of the new Act, a psychosurgery can be performed only after the patient gives informed consent and a specially constituted state mental health board gives its approval. In the past, a hospital board would weigh such applications. For the Australian patient, the process of getting permission from the state to actual operation took almost 10 months.

The patient, who didn't want to be named, has been battling depression for 26 years and had tried various combinations of antidepressants and therapies. Dr. Paresh Doshi, who has conducted over 650 Stereotactic surgeries including 450 deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgeries, is credited with several firsts in India including the first DBS for depression in Asia and Australia performed in 2013.

The patient underwent DBS surgery roughly three weeks back. "During DBS surgery, the patient is awake so that we can map responses while placing the electrodes," said Dr. Doshi. The patient's anxiety significantly dropped and her mood improved slightly during surgery, he added.

The patient and her brother have left India for Melbourne and Dr Doshi added that it will take a few months for the surgery’s effects to show clearly on the patient’s overall health.

Source: ET Health | Read full story

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