Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dr. Mayilvahanan Natarajan

Prof. Mayilvahanan Natarajan is the Vice Chancellor of Dr. MGR Medical College in Chennai, India. He is the Chief of the Orthopaedic Oncology Services at the prestigious Regional Cancer Institute in Adyar, Chennai. He is also a Consultant at the Apollo Cancer and Specialities Hospital, Chennai.
Service to Bone Cancer Patients:
Historically the treatment of malignant bone tumors in the limb was by amputation to save the life of the patient. Dr. Mayilvahanan Natarajan has revolutionized the treatment of patients with bone cancer by introducing the technology of "Custom Mega Prosthesis in Bone Tumors" in Tamil Nadu as early as 1988. By this unique and specialized technique he has avoided amputation in patients with bone cancer and pioneered Limb Salvage Surgery. His impressive and unmatched series of 1344 cases in 20 years (1988 - 2007) has established Orthopaedic Oncology as a speciality in India and got him international acclaim. Of the 1,000 Orthopaedic Surgeons in Tamil Nadu State and 10,000 Orthopaedic Surgeons in India, Dr. Mayilvahanan Natarajan is the only one who has been consistently doing this exemplary work for over a decade.
Service to Society:
The cost of the imported Custom Mega Prosthesis is about $9000. Working on the philosophy of indigenous technology development programme based on locally available resources in biomedical materials, he has strived to reorient and improve health care facilities to bring it within the reach of the common man. Dr. Mayilvahanan self designed and fabricated the Custom Mega Prosthesis indigenously in Chennai at a fraction of the cost 900 US$. By this he has made the custom prosthesis cost effective and treatment affordable for all sections of the society.
The Indigenization of the prostheses for the various anatomical regions have cut down the cost of this procedure to one tenth and enabled service oriented organizations like the Cancer Institute and the Government General Hospital to offer this invaluable option to their patients. For the patients attending the Government General Hospital, the prosthesis has been provided free of cost, so that his technology has reached even the poorest members of our society.
The Custom Mega Prostheses for the various anatomical regions have been submitted for Patent with the Director General of Patient in India. The prosthesis is now available for all the Surgeons throughout the Country for all deserving patients.
By self design and indigenous manufacturing he has made the Custom Mega Prosthesis affordable to patients, acceptable to the medical fraternity, applicable to the society and the concept of Custom Mega Prosthesis in Bone Tumors, attainable in our country, so that India keep pace with the rest of the world in Orthopaedic Oncology.
Creation of Centres of Excellence:
Dr. Mayilvahanan Natarajan has been doing the surgery of Custom Mega Prosthesis in Bone Tumors at the Regional Cancer Institute and Government General Hospital, and Madras Medical College for the past 18 years. He has made these places recognized Centres of Excellence for this unique type of surgery. Patients are referred to him from all over Tamil Nadu and the Regional Cancer Centres in Kerala, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Jabalpur, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta and Andhra Pradesh. Patients are also referred from Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, and Srilanka for this surgery at low cost. He is truly a Doctor without borders.
Development of the speciality:
Dr. Mayilvahanan Natarajan has developed Orthopaedic Oncology as a subspecialty in Orthopaedics and Cancer Surgery by his relentless pursuit of excellence in the management of bone tumor patients. He has authored two Books on Orthopaedic Oncology. He was invited to be the Guest Editor of the Orthopaedic Oncology Section of the the Post Graduate Text book of Orthopaedics published by the Indian Orthopaedic Association (1999). He travels to various parts of India to give guest lectures and practical demonstrations.
International Recognition:
The British Orthopaedic Association and Wish Bone Trust felicitated him with the International Orthopaedic Oncology Award (1998). A distinguished international organization devoted to the field of bone tumors namely the Asia Pacific Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, has recognized the work of Dr. Mayilvahanan Natarajan and elected him as their Millennium President (2000 –2002) . He is the first Indian who has received this honour. Japanese Orthopaedic Association Appreciation Award in acknowledgement of achievement in the Surgical Treatment of Bone Sarcomas (2004). Korean Orthopaedic Association Appreciation Award for the excellence in Orthopaedic Oncology (2006)
National Recognition:
The highest and prestigious civilian Padma Shri Award by His Excellency the President of India for Meritorious Services rendered to the Bone Tumor patients (2007). He is the recipient of Dr. B.C. Roy National Award by the Medical Council of India for his unparalleled work on Custom Mega Prosthesis in Bone Tumors (2004). National Award for the Welfare of Disabled by the Government of India in recognition of cost effective technological innovation (2005). The Indian Orthopaedic Association nominated him as the Chairman of the Orthopaedic Oncology Section to develop this subspecialty (1999 – 2002). Recognizing his contribution to Indian Orthopaedics, the Orthopaedic Surgeons of the country have elected him as President of the Indian Orthopaedic Association (2005 – 2006). Lemelson Recognition and Mentoring Programme (L-Ramp) Innovation Award by the The Lemelson Foundation, USA & Indian Institute of Technology (2005).
State Level Recognition:
The Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology in recognition of his distinguished work has designated him a Scientist in Clinical Medical Sciences and has decorated him with the Tamil Nadu Scientist Award (TANSA 1998). He was elected the youngest Millennium President of the Tamil Nadu Orthopaedic Association (1999 – 2000). He has been awarded the Best Doctor award by the Government of Tamil Nadu on 15 August 2004, for his services to the disabled.
Bona Bank and Disaster Management:
He has also been instrumental in starting the Bone Bank at the Government General Hospital, Chennai (2005). Cadaveric Bones will be processed and made available as Allografts for the poor and needy patients attending the Public Hospitals in Chennai. Limb Transplantation wherein Cadaveric Upper Limb or Lower Limb will be transplanted to patients who have lost their limbs due to trauma or cancer. Recently he has submitted the project on “Disaster Management Health Care Perspective” to the Government of Tamil Nadu and Ministry of Health, Government of India (2006). This pilot project outlines Hospital protocol for the Management of Major Disasters and Mass Causalities. This will be a model to be followed in all major hospitals in India.

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