South Indian Orthopaedic surgeon helped 2,000 patients suffering from rare bone tumours

An Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Mayilvahanan Natarajan, was honoured in Chennai on Saturday for saving 2,000 patients suffering from bone tumour, till date, in his career of 26 years.

Dr. Natarajan started his career in 1988 and developed a very affordable custom prosthesis. Since then, he has saved 2,000 patients who suffered from a rare case of bone tumours.

“My ambition is by 2020 there should be zero amputation,” said Dr. Mayil Vahanan Natarajan.

Talking about the rare case of malignant bone tumour, he also added that, “Orthopaedics sees only one case in the entire year, but most patients die because of lack of awareness.”

Dr. Natarajan was also a former vice-chancellor of the state at Dr MGR Medical University and former director of Institute of Orthopaedic Surgery at Madras Medical College. He is now a senior Orthopaedic surgeon.

Dr. Mayil Vahanan Natarajan.

Dr. Mayil Vahanan Natarajan.

At a function which was organized by his family and friends, Dr. Natarajan said, “The government hospital and private hospitals across fifteen states are using this method to treat those with bone tumours”.

His patients, who are mostly youngsters, spoke about their stories at the event. One of his patients who is a software professional, Keshava Raghunathan, 31, just need to wear a specially made shoe in his left leg and he could give a geisha lesson on balancing to any Japanese. When he was only 12 years old, he had to get operated on his femur bone.

Talking about his prosthetics, Raghunathan said, “But I still run, cycle and I’ve gone on plenty of treks. Despite having a tumour, because my limb wasn’t amputated, I had the best childhood.”

For Dr. Natarajan, academics is a passion. He is frequently invited to present papers and participate in symposia within the country and abroad. He has also edited several books on orthopaedics, as well as authored text books. He has also contributed articles to several medical journals, teaching and performing surgery.

Dr. Natarajan completed surgery on his 2000th patient in the month of May this year.
YS Subramaniam