Surgeon counts 3 lakh sterilisations and is still performing
When one talks of 3,03,000 sterilisation operations and credits the number to an individual rather than an entire hospital, it might sound far-fetched. But this is one doctor who has been keeping track of his laparoscopic surgeries, and whose records have been recognised by his fraternity as well as the Limca Book of Records.
Dr Lalit Mohan Pant, a government doctor and the only laparoscopic surgeon authorised by the government to work throughout the state, claims to have achieved that feat in a career spanning more than three decades. At 57, he keeps moving from from one family planning camp to another and has eight more years to go before he hangs up his scalpel.
The MP chapter of the Association of Surgeons of India awarded him 10 gold medals between 1994 and 2004 for carrying out the highest number of family planning operations, then went on to name the award after Dr Pant.
"Touch wood, not one operation has been a failure so far," he says, and denies he is chasing any records. And yet he can tell you the precise time when he performed his 3,00,000th operation on December 5.
"I wanted to do something different but never realised I would end up doing what most qualified surgeons would not engage in," he says, agreeing that his chosen field does not get the same recognition as other medical fields do. "Why would one like to befriend a cardiothoracic surgeon or someone conducting sterilisations?" Even his own family wasn't impressed with his choice in the beginning, he says.
In 2002, he made it to the Limca Book of Records for 27,578 surgeries that year, 816 of them in one day. He has been to thousands of government camps, and attended mostly to women — his total count of 3.03 lakh includes only 12,000 male sterilisations.