Bengaluru: Dr Mahesha Vankalakunti, a Consultant Nephropathologist at Manipal Hospitals, is not just a clinician with loads of experience, but has also reached a milestone of conducting 25,000 kidney biopsies.
What makes this feat unique is that the city has only three to four nephropathologists trained to conduct the tests. When he started, city hospitals had to outsource the patient details for kidney biopsies. "Before I joined Manipal Hospital in 2010, hospitals did not have nephrologists to give kidney biopsy tests and they had to be sent to other cities, including the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh. Bengaluru being a metropolitan city, I thought that we should have such an essential service considering the disease burden," he said. He started the journey in 2010 and facilitated Kidney Biopsy Reports for not just the entire state, but also West Bengal and other states.
“What started at our hospital caught the attention of other hospitals who also started sending samples to us. Currently, we get reports from entire Karnataka, South Maharashtra, Salem in Tamil Nadu, Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, which has the highest numbers," he said. Close to 100 nephrologists send him the samples for accurate reports. His work has currently been recognised by the Nephrology Association of Karnataka, who will honour him on December 23 for reaching the milestone and conducting the highest number of biopsies.
Speaking about the need for timely reports, he said, “Time is crucial. With the help of kidney biopsy, the doctors get complete information about the kind of disease and at what stage it is in, based on which the treatment is tailored. For end-stage cases, it is extremely important to know when they can start the dialysis. For transplant cases too, we need the report to see whether there is a kidney rejection and for that the doctors need the report as soon as possible as they have to start the anti-rejection therapy. At times of urgency, distance becomes extremely crucial and sending the sample outside the city carries the risk of losing time.”...