Psychological support needed to get past mucormycosis trauma, say docs

With many individuals losing eyesight or jaws to mucormycosis and finding it difficult to adapt to normal life, doctors opine that they require psychological support to be able to pull themselves out of trauma and accept themselves post-surgery.
File Photo
File Photo

Chennai

More than 4,000 people have been infected with mucormycosis and the task force committee for the treatment of mucormycosis in Tamil Nadu has emphasized the importance of psychological support for these patients. 
“Surgery is required for all such patients. But if the patients can reach the hospital at an early stage, refacing and removal of eyes or jaws can be avoided. The hospital authorities should also understand the importance of psychological support needed for the patient who loses an organ due to the same and provide them counselling,” said senior ENT specialist Dr Mohan Kameshwaran. 
More than 800 people have undergone treatment for mucormycosis at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) and all of them require surgery for removal of infected tissues. “The patients who require surgery in a later stage of the infection have to undergo removal of the eyes and portions of the jaws because of the infection. People fear surgeries and they are unable to face the trauma that follows. We have a team of doctors to counsel the patients before and after surgery so that they can understand the medical procedures,” said Dr E Theranirajan, dean of RGGGH. 
At private hospitals, that have been undertaking treatment for the disease, doctors point out that lack of awareness about the infection and treatment has led to various misconceptions. 
“Mucormycosis was a rare health concern, but the cases have gone up during the pandemic though people are clueless on the treatment required. Some patients do not understand the importance of the surgery at an earlier stage. It becomes difficult for the patients to accept refacing and changes on the face. Our team of psychologists have also been pooled in to provide counselling and educate them on procedures available for them post-surgery,” said Dr Triveni, senior consultant, general ophthalmologist, at Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital.

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