Stories about surgery

From Zahid to Bubbly

“So you have decided to keep humiliating us in front of people,” he said with a roaring voice. His beloved Baba had slapped Zahid on wearing red lipstick again. “You are a boy, a man! The only waris (successor) of our hundreds of acres of land. I will beat you black and blue if I ever find you doing anything girly again.” Zahid had tightly clenched a broken red lipstick in his hands. Baba was continuously lecturing him about masculinity but surprisingly, all this scolding was appearing so rhythmical to him. Baba was admonishing him but he was dancing in his mind, wrapping red dupatta and responding ...

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Please God, kill my children before they are born

The midwife handed her the baby. She took the tiny thing in her arms and stared at him. He was beautiful. For a fleeting moment, she felt unbound joy. He was a part of her. He was… her focus shifted. He was nothing but a hungry mouth to feed like the eight others that awaited her at the house. Or if one could even call it a house. Two shabby rooms with a makeshift stove and a bathroom next to them was home sweet home. The ceiling leaked, the doors creaked while the paint was in tatters. Her husband had ...

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More than just cancer

I stared at him, not being able to comprehend what he had just said. Had I heard correctly? Was he really saying what I had just heard? Did those words really come out of his mouth? Tears started welling up in my eyes and my hands started trembling. I felt as if the whole world had just come to a halt. I looked at the person sitting next to me, equally astonished. What is this? My doctor had just told me that I had stage three cancer and that I would require surgery urgently to stop the cancer from spreading even further in my body. I just could not accept ...

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What about the good that happens in Pakistan?

We are a nation full of flaws, but we have some good aspects as well which are rarely highlighted. I recently met a doctor, a pioneer in gastroenterology, who received the prominent civil award, Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, this year for his contribution to the field. During our meeting, he commented on the prevalent negativity in society. The media hunts down only the bad news and presents it as trophies to the public, he said. He told me about a workshop organised in March this year, where despite the travel warnings due to the security situation in Karachi, 29 international experts from the US, the ...

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A transplant surgery gone wrong

The liver transplant centre of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) witnessed its first liver transplant surgery on May 2. The establishment of this transplant centre was directed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and the utilisation of huge amounts of fund required for its construction still remains controversial. The sad reality is that no one can hold the minister and his team accountable for this sum of money. The surgery — which took place on May 2 — was historic because it was the first of its kind in the country. Indeed, this is true, for it met a ...

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Your child needs surgery – come back in 2016

Here’s something interesting that happened a few days ago. I was going about my routine afternoon work when I was interrupted by a lady who walked into my office with a cute four-year-old boy by her side. The lady introduced herself as the daughter of a maid who used to work at our house a long time ago. As she spoke I could not help but notice the little boy, Rehman was his name, as he had already started fiddling with a pen that had been sitting on my desk. As my attention shifted back to the mother, she handed me ...

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Don’t be yourself, be pretty instead

One cannot change what society considers beautiful. Neither can one berate it for being attracted to certain physical features, say a fair complexion. We can, however, change ourselves. If there is something about one’s body that nettles him or her consistently, why not change it? It is inarguable that in an ideal world, inner beauty is more important than physical beauty. However, it should be realised that these two are not inversely related. A good-looking person is not ipso facto a black-hearted, Sauron-esque villain. There’s nothing wrong with being beautiful both inside and out, which is why I bluntly say: Don’t be yourself, ...

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Life is plastic…in a Barbie world

Half the fun in flipping through celebrity tabloids and society magazines lies in speculating who’s had ‘work’ done. Although plastic surgeons ethically shouldn’t operate on patients with surgical addictions or Body Dysmorphic Disorder, the following results demonstrate otherwise: Overt Barbie-ism – Lips, nose and bust combo package: • Megan Fox is ‘foxier’ after having surgical procedures that have taken her to the pinnacle of Hollywood beauty standards. • Lindsay Lohan is a controversial actress who looks about the same age group as her mother, Dina. • Katie Price, a British reality TV star, is as ‘real’ as a drag queen. • Preity Zinta is decidedly ‘pretty’ after all ...

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How Saira learned to smile again

Saira Liaqat was a teenager when she married a relative. Both families agreed that she finish school before moving in with her husband. However, just a few months later he was demanding she drop out. One hot day in July 2003, her husband arrived at her house and doused Saira’s face with acid. Her face was entirely disfigured, her right eye was blinded and she could barely see from the left. The acid attack erased any trace of the pretty girl of the past – but it has not crushed her spirit. Fortunately, she received help from the Depilex Smile again Foundation, an organisation started ...

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Ask questions, your doctor isn’t psychic

Miscommunications are part of daily routine.  You order a large Coke and no fries at a restaurant and the waiter brings you extra fries and a regular Fanta.  You ask a classmate for physiology notes and she photocopies the entire term’s anatomy notes and presents them to you the next day. But there’s one place miscommunication can be a serious problem. Having spent time on both sides of the physician-patient fence, I’ve started noticing how doctors often do not explain stuff adequately and patients will not ask enough questions, resulting in huge communication gaps.  In a clinical setting, these gaps ...

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