Arvind Kejriwal’s Tongue Re-Positioned To Fix Chronic Cough, Says Doctor

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is recovering well after surgery at a Bengaluru hospital for his chronic cough, doctors attending to him said today.

Mr Kejriwal, who was operated upon on Wednesday, was approached by the doctors, who offered to cure the cough after observing Mr Kejriwal and studying photos and videos. They felt that Mr Kejriwal coughed more because of structural problems in his mouth and throat, rather than from allergies. The five-hour surgery attempted what Dr Paul Salins of the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre calls therapeutic engineering – which in this case included changing the position of the chief minister’s tongue.

“My interest is to engineer anatomy… I felt his soft palate was too long and the relationship between the soft palate and the back of his tongue was abnormal, with the soft palate constantly in touch with his tongue. So we lowered the position of his tongue. I took his tongue down and rotated the front portion,” explained Dr Salins, who is Medical Director and chief of Craniofacial Surgery Services at the centre. He said, “It is a reconstitution of the anatomy so the propensity for irritation… even now he may feel saliva is trickling back but it isn’t. I am absolutely positive that over the next few months he has every possibility of completely surmounting this problem.”

Dr Salins told NDTV it was a casual chat between colleagues that led to the call to the Aam Aadmi Party chief, whose persistent cough has been the subject of much conversation and unfairly, also memes and radio shows.

“This was serendipity. Dr Kiran Mazumdar and we were talking about his cough….Then we forgot all about it… What we did not expect was for Dr Shetty to immediately contact Mr Kejriwal’s office,”Dr Salins said.

Mr Kejriwal was operated upon at the Narayana Health City, which said in a statement that after surgery Mr Kejriwal, 48, is diabetic and so will be under medical observation for a week.