PRE AND PARA CLINICAL SCIENCES
Anatomy is a dynamic science, which is fundamental to clinical practice. It is of paramount importance to have clear knowledge of the structure of the normal human body and the possible variations from the developmental point of view. At the undergraduate level, the Department is occupied in teaching Medical, Dental, Nursing and Pharmacy students in addition to postgraduate students of pre-clinical, para-clinical and clinical subjects. The Department facilitates cadaveric dissection exercises for surgical skills development of various clinical procedures for departments like ENT, Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, etc. The Department of Anatomy also undertakes embalming as a public service for airlifting as well as otherwise. Many people have pledged their bodies to the Department after their demise.
Biochemistry is the language of life, the science concerned with the chemical constituents of living cells. It encompasses the study of cell biology, molecular biology, and molecular genetics. The main objective of biochemistry is to give a complete understanding, at the molecular level, of all the chemical processes associated with living cells. It explores the chemical reactions, associated macromolecules and metabolites that are found in biological processes, common to all organisms.
The unity of life at the biochemical level makes this approach possible. By comparing and contrasting details of particular biochemical pathways in different organisms we can learn how biological challenges are solved at the biochemical level. Other objectives include helping to understand the origin of life on earth and to integrate biochemical knowledge into efforts to maintain health and to understand diseases and treat them effectively.
Relationship between medicine and biochemistry has important implications for the former. As long as medical treatment is firmly grounded in the knowledge of biochemistry and other basic sciences ,the practice of medicine will have a rational basis that can be adapted to accommodate new knowledge. Lately, our knowledge of medical biochemistry has grown exponentially with the advent of new molecular techniques. Placing all these information together in a manner comprehensible to an average undergraduate student presents a challenging task. The faculty in our department works together in delivering a student friendly, yet comprehensive and up-to-date manner, without overwhelming the students having their first encounter with biochemistry.
The Department of Community Medicine provides an innovative, rural based, primary health care oriented medical education Value-based medical education, using a student friendly, need oriented and evidence based curriculum has been formulated. This field trains doctors to function as community leaders with a vision for the upliftment of the communities in which they work and not just as clinicians confined to their clinics or hospitals. The Department provides cost effective primary health care through its rural and urban training health centers. The health functionaries of these centers have linkages with the local women self help groups and the Health Service Department of the State. The Department collaborates with international organizations such as UNICEF, and other reputed institutions in India on various research projects.
Forensic Medicine & Toxicology
Forensic Medicine is a specialised branch of medicine which deals with the application of principles of medicine for administration of law and justice. The Department imparts knowledge and skill in the subject to the medical students enabling them to handle all types of medico-legal issues. These include medico-legal autopsies, poisoning, injuries, drunkenness, potency etc. Further students will be trained in court procedures, handling of medico-legal documents, production of evidences in court etc. This is the only private institution in State of Kerala having sanction from the Government to conduct medico-legal autopsies in cases of unnatural deaths referred from the adjacent eight police stations. The Department has a full fledged Poison Control Centre functioning under the Analytical Toxicology wing. In addition to training basic doctors, this is the only department in self financing sector conducting postgraduate courses (M.D. Forensic Medicine). This Department caters to medico-legal needs of the State and also handles poisoning cases as a primary/tertiary/referral centre. Expert opinions in a wide variety of cases are sought from this department by the various investigating agencies including Crime Branch C.I.D. and C.B.I.
The primary mission of the Department of Microbiology at Amrita includes undergraduate and postgraduate education, high quality laboratory diagnostic services and research. The department aims to continuously strive for the highest possible standard in diagnostic services; teaching and research activities. The department of microbiology is committed in its endeavor to work with all health care professionals to assure that all the services provided by us are clinically relevant, that test results are delivered in a timely fashion so that it aids clinical decision making. The department believes in team work and in the ideology that every member of the team should perform to the maximum of their abilities. As teams work best when they take pride in the work they do, the department involves the individuals in decision making processes and keeps them motivated by making them aware of the contributions being made in individual patient care. The teaching curriculum has been carefully planned to include enough theoretical and practical aspects of the subject. We are constantly updating our teaching methodologies to keep abreast with changing times. The department is working for a maximally efficient and safe work place.
The Department of Pathology provides comprehensive diagnostic services with emphasis on accuracy, precision and prompt reporting to our patients thereby helping and guiding the clinicians in proper patient management. The department started in 1998 and since then is located at 6th tower, 3rd floor with easy accessibility to all the clinicians. The various labs that function under this department are Histopathology, Cytology and Hematology. All the labs are most modernised and well-equipped with skilled personnel. The various labs are all NABL Accredited which puts them in a higher platform with regard to quality..
The Department of Pathology participates in the external quality assurance programmes on a regular basis, namely EQAS CBC- Christian Medical College, Vellore and EQAS coagulation in Haematology with AIIMS, New Delhi. For Histopathology with Anand Laboratories Bangalore & Cytology, Ranbaxy Lab Mumbai. The samples are tested in Pathology Department and reports are made online.We accept samples / slides / paraffin blocks for special tests & review as part of the referral facility and provide a second opinion on them.
Academics: Stress on academic activities is the “manthra” of the department.
The consultant pathologists participate in the clinico-pathological & oncological meetings with the different specialties – Orthopedics, Dermatology, Gastrointerstinal Surgery, Hematology, Oncology, Nephrology to mention a few, on a regular basis. They also undertake teaching, training of students of various courses like MBBS, BDS, MD Path, DCP (3 candidates), & Laboratory technicians,(undergraduates,postgraduates). Postgraduate trainees of other specialities & superspecialities ( Neurosurgery, Radiotherapy, Dermatology, Oncology, Nephrology, Forensic Medicine, Oral Pathology, Pulmonology and Microbiology) also spend varying periods of time in pathology.
The wide range of material received from various specialities, especially, Gastrosurgery, Neurosurgery, Oncology, Head and Neck to mention a few, provides a rich experience to our postgraduates and help them get the best of knowledge. Our Faculty are actively involved in various National and International academic events and researches. The pathology department has a 12-member faculty, assisted by 32 technicians,and 9 clerical staff.This department provides the diagnostic services of Histopathology including Fetal Autopsy, Cytology (including FNAC), and Hematolgy to Amrita Hospital as well as specimens and tissues brought from outside.
Pharmacology is the detailed scientific study of drugs, particularly their actions (beneficial and harmful) on living animals and man at the organs' cellular and molecular levels. It encompasses all aspects about knowledge of drugs,but most importantly those that are relevent to effective and safe use for medicinal purposes. The department has set the following goals for the medical students:
The main objective of Physiology Department is to train undergraduate medical & allied health sciences students in physiological basis of health & disease and thereby make them aware of the rationale behind treatment measures adopted for each illness. We also assist and promote self learning and research activities of post graduate students and junior faculty.
We have good experienced teaching faculty consisting of 2 professors, 3 assistant professors and 2 tutors. MD and MSc courses in Physiology are conducted Department takes extra care of the slow learners by way of assignments, viva, question paper discussion etc. We have a unique system of gurukula for academic and moral support for the students. Regular vertical integration classes by clinical faculty is another special feature of our teaching learning system.
We have 7 ongoing research projects in collaboration with other departments in addition to several completed projects. Our evaluation system includes formative and summative assessment, written test, viva, tutorials and seminars in addition to 3 sessional examinations.. Time to time we take feedback from students and modify teaching to suit their requirements. We also encourage the faculty to take part in teacher’s training course which is conducted in our institution & also in Continuing Medical Education programs, both inside & outside the state. The success rate of last 5 years depicts clear picture of students' performance. This year the Department conducted seminar on ‘Relieving stress among Medicos’ for students, parents and teachers in connection with Amrithavarsham – 60 which was well appreciated.
CLINICAL BROAD SPECIALITIES
The Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care is the single largest department in the hospital and includes besides anaesthesiologists, anaesthesia technicians and respiratory therapists. The Anaesthesia Department is further sub-specialized into the cardiac, neuro, orthopedics, gastrosurgery, urology, pediatric and the head and neck oncology units. Each of these sub-specialties are headed by professors and associate professors who are experts in their field and have developed the units over the years. The Department actively participates in research and academic activity and the faculty are recognized for their expertise nationally.
The Anaesthesia Department conducts various post MD specialty courses including DM in cardiac anaesthesia, post doctoral courses in transplant, neuro and cardiac anaesthesia. The Department also conducts diploma in critical care ((ISCCM) besides conducting BSc training for anaesthesia technicians and both BSc and MSc for the respiratory therapists. All surgical intensive care units and the medical intensive care units are primarily under the care of anaesthesiologists. The ventilatory care is assisted by the respiratory therapy unit who provide a continuum of ventilatory care to the ICU patients under the supervision of the anaesthesiologist. The faculty in Anaesthesia Department is well versed with the use of fibreoptic bronchoscopy, difficult airway management, percutaneous tracheostomy and transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography besides excellence in invasive lines. AIMS is one of the best training centers in the country today for anaesthesiologists. The huge exposure to the postgraduates and consultants, not only in the operating rooms but also in various ICU’s, makes them highly trained and efficient anaesthesiologists by the time they leave the portals of the institute.
The Department of Dermatology is a postgraduate department which offers outpatient services and inpatient services. Apart from clinical consultation, we provide comprehensive investigative and clinical services related to dermatology and venereology like; skin biopsy, laboratory investigations, phototherapy, cryotherapy, electric cautery, radio cautery,chemical cautery etc.
Well-trained postgraduate consultants are available to provide consultation and treatment pertaining to :
The last few years has seen revolutionary changes in the field of emergency medicine in India. It has evolved from the "MBBS doctor/CMO" managed casualty to ER managed by trained Emergency Medicine Physicians. Amrita has been the torch bearer of this change with the first 3-year postgraduate training program (MD-Emergency Medicine) in Kerala. The Department of Emergency Medicine at Amrita has grown into a reputed center for emergency care in India.
The Department of Internal Medicine is one of the premier departments bringing together an elite cadre of clinicians, investigators and educators in one of the world's top medical schools. The Department has 25 full-time faculty members and is embedded in a remarkable basic science environment at the Health Science Campus at Amrita with a collaborative culture that affords numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary and translational research. The Department is supported by the latest diagnostic facilities that include Microbiology, Serology, Molecular Medicine, Pathology, Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine. The presence of all the major subspecialties at AIMS enables the department to provide comprehensive care to a patient with multiple problems without fragmentation of care and with the ability to optimise medical treatment, thus improving quality of life.
The Department is actively involved in teaching MD General Medicine, MBBS, BDS, BSc Nursing, MSc. Nursing, M Pham and Pham D students. The Department gives utmost importance to clinical research and studies. Inspiring dynamic minds, quality health care , excellent academics, inspiring atmosphere for clinical research and outstanding infrastructure defines the Department of General Medicine at Amrita School of Medicine.
The Department of General Surgery is geared to offer teaching programs for both undergraduates as well as postgraduate students. Computer assisted teaching aids on clinical examination and operative procedures are being generated. Research activities in several areas are already on. Video conferencing facilities will enable students sitting in the auditorium to see live transmission of surgical procedures and interact with the faculty at the same time.
The expectancy of life has increased significantly in the last few decades. With advancing healthcare facilities, it is expected to persist in the coming years, and expectancy of life at birth may well surpass 80 years in most countries of the world, including India. Our society is rapidly undergoing change. Increasingly, women, who were the traditional caregivers of the elderly, are taking to work. Many in the working generation leave the state in search of jobs. So we are faced with a situation where in the elderly are increasing in numbers and living longer while the number of care givers are rapidly decreasing. This is reflected by a rapid increase in the number of old age homes – but most often than not, they do not provide healthcare maintenance.
Treating elderly – understanding their requirements and modulating treatment accordingly is an independent expertise. Medicines are often not tolerated at the usual doses, and elderly require a different dosing regimen. The Geriatrics Department at AIMS understands these special requirements of the elderly and cater to them accordingly with a holistic approach. We ensure that all patients receive a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment with the help of specially trained doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dietician, medical social worker, occupational therapist and an effective treatment plan is modulated after discussions with these personnel This Geriatrics Department is the first of its kind in India which started functioning in January 2001. The benefit for the comprehensive geriatric consultation is that the patient can meet all the team members at the same time during their visit. Geriatric medical care differs from usual medical practice because the focus is on preservation of function and improving the quality of life and not just investigating, diagnosing, treating and curing specific diseases.
We deal with the patient's social and psychological problems as well as his/ her medical problems and also frequently work with the family or caregivers who are assisting the older person to help them provide better and effective care.
Nuclear Medicine is a rapidly developing branch of medicine which uses radioisotopes for diagnostic imaging and therapy. All nuclear medicine investigations and therapeutic procedures with reference to subspecialities of medicine and surgery are available at the Department of Nuclear Medicine at AIMS. The Department is equipped with the state-of-the-art 8 slice PET-CT scanner (Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography), the first of its kind in the state of Kerala. It provides superior diagnostic information for patients with cancer, ischemic heart disease and certain neurologic conditions. Nuclear medicine imaging, or scintigraphy performed with a Gamma camera, provides physiological information as an adjunct to conventional imaging technology and is of tremendous diagnostic value to many specialities.
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
The Department offers all the routine obstetrics and gynaecology services. In addition, the Department manages high-risk pregnancy by prenatal diagnostic testing like chorion villus sampling, amniocentesis, foetal colour doppler, and velocimetry studies. Cancer screening for perimenopausal women using colposcopy and colour doppler studies are also conducted. The Department routinely perform all endoscopic surgeries including hysteroscopy and laparoscopy.
The Department of Ophthalmology under Amrita School of Medicine is a center of excellence in eye care in India. Not only equipped with the latest advancements in ophthalmic diagnostics and treatment modality but also has the leaders in each subspecialities guiding the Department forward. The Department has separate speciality clinics for cataract, cornea, glaucoma, medical retina, surgical retina, uvea, oculoplasty, neuro-opthalmology and strabismus.
Various speciality care gives best possible treatment to our patients at a very affordable cost. The Department also undertakes various community outreach programs with a fully functional mobile ophthalmic unit equipped with slit lamp camera, nonmidriatic fundus camera which can live telecast images to the parent department. The various programmes under telemedicine are cataract and glacuoma screening, diabetic retinopathy screening and school screening. The Department also regularly conducts retinopathy of prematurity screening in the hospital. Our Ophthalmology OP is equiped with slitlamps with applanation tonometer, non contact tonometer, autorefractokeratometer, visual acuity testing including pediatric visual acuity measurements, synaptophore, Humphries filed analyser, pachymeter, direct and indirect ophthalmoscopes, 90D lens, gonioscopy lens and schiotz tonometer. It is also equiped with most advanced equipments like corneal topography, specular microscopy, anterior segment optical coherence tomography(OCT), slit lamp camera, fundus fluorescene angiography, indosianin greenangiography, posterior segment OCT, electro retinography and videoindirect ophthaloscopy.
We have a 24/7 functional eye bank with an ophthalmologist on call. Cornea OT undertake keratoplasties including both full thickness and lamellar keratoplasties. It also has most advanced LASIK machine providing refractory surgery facilities. For phacoemulsification, we have the latest AMO signature phacoemulsification machine providing high quality cataract surgery with IOL implantation. Acurus vitrectomy machine provides most recent 23G and 25G vitreoretinal services to out patients. Acadamics have always been given the priority here and we constantly train MBBS, MS and DO Ophthalmolgy, BSc Optometry students. Research gets the upperhand here as we aim to make a better tomorrow. We constantly produce many intrernational and national paper publications.
The Department of Orthopaedics is an acclaimed resource for treating muscle, bone, and joint disorders. Areas of special emphasis include arthritis, joint replacement, spine surgery, sports medicine, hand, foot and ankle, orthopaedic oncology, trauma, and paediatric orthopaedics. Our orthopaedic surgeons have diverse expertise and are committed to provide effective solutions for people with a wide range of orthopaedic problems from broken bones to spinal disorders, from crippling arthritis to sports medicine.
On the academic front, the Department is an acclaimed centre for undergraduate and post graduate training with ongoing programmes in diploma and Masters degree in orthopaedics. It is staffed with acclaimed and experienced teachers. The centre also provides fellowship training in subspecialities like arthroplasty, arthroscopy and spine surgery.
The Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Speech Pathology and Audiology is one of the most well equipped departments with experienced faculty and instruments. Otorhinolaryngology, as it stands now, is not merely dependent on routine outdoor evaluation and conservative management as it used to be in the past. The Department has adjusted well with the advancement of medical technology. With the advent of modern day telescopes, operating microscopes and lasers, the Department now handles various ear-nose-throat and neck disorders efficiently and precisely. The Department has state-of-the-art microscopes to perform micro ear-surgeries including cochlear implant.
There are nasal and nasopharyngeal endoscopes for diagnostics and video endoscopy facilities for all types of endoscopic sinus surgeries including transnasal pituitary and surgery for CSF rhinorrhoea. microlaryngeal surgeries and voice-improving phonosurgery are also performed. There is a dedicated voice clinic, conducted weekly, to cater specifically to patients with voice issues. This includes the investigation modality of videolaryngostroboscopy. Salivary gland stone cases are being managed by the new modality of sialendoscopy. Sleep disorders, especially snoring and sleep apnoea, are growing in incidence. The Department has recently taken the lead in setting up a multi-disciplinary 'Snoring Clinic.'
The Division of General Pediatrics within the Department of Pediatrics provides comprehensive outpatient and inpatient care of sick infants and children upto the age of 18 years of age. The division attempts to provide a “medical home” concept in the care of children. This model provides primary preventive pediatric care which addresses areas of well baby check-ups, immunizations, developmental assessments, nutritional assessments, healthy life style, proper physical activities. The division also provides consultations to other sub-specialists for comprehensive pediatric care in-house and through telemedicine for those outside this institution. The faculty provides teaching to both undergraduate and postgraduates and are involved in clinical research activities. Pediatricians are assigned to work in the following areas on a rotational basis and are available 24/7, 365 days.
A multidisciplinary team of general paediatricians, subspeciality consultants, paediatric nurses, nutritionists and social workers complement the comprehensive approach to general paediatric care and subspeciality services to children with special needs.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, commonly known by its short form PM & R, is a very important department in all tertiary care hospitals that rehabilitate patients presenting with various residual disabilities after recovering from their primary illnesses. Many patients who are admitted in Neurology, Stroke Medicine, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Rheumatology and General Medicine with a host of medical problems like stroke, parkinsonism, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, acute or chronic pain, myofascial syndromes etc. require very effective rehabilitation services.
Here in Amrita, the PM & R department is one with postgraduate and undergraduate teaching and training facility. MBBS graduates are given basic training in rehabilitation medicine during their internship. Postgraduation courses- MD and diploma in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation are conducted from 2010 onwards. Full-fledged faculty, resident doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and prosthetic and orthotic technician work here for comprehensive rehabilitation of patients. In addition, speech therapists, swallow therapists and psychosocial supportive therapy and experts from other clinical departments help in rehabilitating patients with various problems.
Clinics run in association with other departments are:
Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences
The Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences provides comprehensive mental health services ranging from psycho social treatments like counselling and psychotherapy to biological treatment modalities including pharmacotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy. It provides sub-speciality services in general psychiatry,geriatric and child psychiatry and de-addiction services as well. The Department has experienced and dedicated faculty who also include senior psychiatrists with many years of experience as educators and clinicians in premier medical institutions in the state. The Department has an intake of 3 postgraduate seats per year and carries out excellent teaching and research programmes.
The Department is also actively engaged in teaching programmes for Nursing, Pharmacy etc. It is ably supported by the Departments of Clinical Psychology and Social Work in providing neuro-psychological and psycho social services. A number of interdisciplinary research programmes are underway in diverse areas like community psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, palliative care and psycho endocrinology. An inspiring and stimulating academic environment, excellent clinical and diagnostic services embedded in a remarkable basic science environment at the Health Sciences Campus are what define the Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences.
The Department of Radiology in one of the finest centers of its kind in the country. The Department combines sophisticated state of the art equipment and highly experienced and skilled staff to deliver the entire spectrum of imaging from head to toe. The department has 2 Multidetector CT and 2 MR scanners, several top end Ultrasound and Doppler equipment, a digital mammogram and digital X-ray. Using these equipments seamlessly, the Department spare no efforts to offer the patient the highest standard of care.
The Department is one of the leading Interventional Radiology (IR) centers in the country. IR is a specialty that uses imaging equipment to help treat diseases. Image guided biopsies and drainage of body fluid are simple examples of IR. A major bleeding (from Lungs, bowel, Kidney etc) can be controlled by embolisation. Blocked arteries of the leg and other organ can be opened with angioplasty.
Liver cancer can be treated with RFA( heating) and TACE (a form of embolisation). IR procedures are minimally invasive and a major surgery can be avoided. In many situations like major bleeds, surgery may not be possible and IR is the only way to save life. The IR unit also treats brain aneurysms and blockages of the arteries of the brain. In addition, the Department is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
The Department of Radiation Oncology at Amrita is considered as the torch bearer of modern Radiation technology in the state. It is now equipped with three linear accelerators, image guidance facility, dedicated CT and conventional Simulator and HDR brachytherapy facility. The Quality assurance programme of the Amrita Radiation Oncology team is considered among the best in country with regular review of contours, plans and treatment delivery.
The highlights of the department include:-
CLINICAL SUPER SPECIALITIES
The Department of Cardiology at Amrita is a tertiary care center of repute with patients from South India as well as neighboring countries of South Asia and Middle East being referred for advanced cardiac care. The cardiology department has set the benchmark for cardiovascular care in South India. Approximately 10000 new patients are treated annually. A 24-hour emergency team with a Mobile Intensive Care unit provides speedy access in emergencies.
The center is fully equipped to provide intensive and multidisciplinary comprehensive medical care for cardiac patients. The center offers noninvasive imaging modalities like transthoracic and transeosaphageal echocardiography with tissue doppler imaging, contrast and stress echocardiography, intraop echocardiography, 24 hour Holter, HUTT, Loop recorder, multi detector CT, cardiac MRI, nuclear cardiology studies and PET imaging services. It also has invasive services with fully equipped cardiac catheterisation lab with angiogram, angioplasty, IVUS, FFR, rotablation and peripheral angioplasty services. The electrophysiology services include 2D and 3D mapping systems and pacemaker and AICD implantation. The centre also offers preventive cardiology services and has undertaken various research project and is a teaching institute for various undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Cardio Vascular Thoracic Surgery
The Cardiac and Vascular Surgery Program at Amrita is one of the busiest programs in the country. Over 3000 cardiac surgical operations are performed annually. The operations performed include coronary artery bypass grafting, heart valve repair and replacement and operations for congenital heart defects.
The Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Podiatric Surgery is the only full-fledged Endocrinology centre in Kerala providing advanced care for diabetes mellitus as well as for a variety of complex endocrine disorders. With 20 doctors and nearly 50 supporting staff, the centre offers complete clinical care for virtually all endocrine diseases. All aspects of diabetes care is addressed comprehensively ie screening for diabetes and its complications, management of acute and long standing diabetic foot disorders including lower limb angioplasty, joint reconstruction surgeries, paediatric and adoloscent diabetes, Insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring system, diabetic retinopathy screening and treatment. Work done by Podiatry wing is unmatched in the country and it serves as a premier referral centre for complex foot problems in South India. It is also a major referral centre for pituitary, adrenal, parathyroid and thyroid disorders and is well supported by an excellent Neurosurgery and Endocrine surgery team.
We run a comprehensive thyroid cancer clinic along with Nuclear Medicine & Head & Neck surgery which provides multidisciplinary care to patients. Obesity clinic for adults and children was established a few years back and all therapies from medical to Bariatric surgery is offered by our centre. Osteoporosis assessment and management is aided by the availability of DEXA scan in house and expertise in dealing of complex issues by a team of specialist including rheumatologist and spinal surgeons. The Paediatric Endocrinology wing is unique in providing comprehensive care to children with Type 1 Diabetes, growth disorders (short stature and tall stature), pubertal disorders ( late and early puberty), childhood obesity, disorders of sexual development, thyroid disorders and bone disorders. The innovative community work of Amrita Diabetes Welfare Association is unparalleled in India. The services are available 7 days a week with 24 hour telephone helpline for diabetes related problems. Evening clinics are available 5 days a week to make it easier for those with daytime jobs.
The Department has facilities for the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of complex gastrointestinal, liver, gallbladder, and pancreatic diseases. The core units of the Institute are the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and the Gastrointestinal Surgery Department. The departments of Imaging, Interventional Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Oncology and Lab Services also work closely with the Digestive Diseases group. The Department of Gastroenterology is comprised of the following services and areas of speciality:
The Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery has a comprehensive surgical program focusing on:
The operating rooms are one of the best equipped in the country with advanced facilities such as a dedicated C-arm image intensifier, harmonic scalpel, argon becim coagulator, CUSA, and intra—operative ultrasound and endoscopy.
Head and Neck Surgery
The Department of Head and Neck Surgery is organized as a multidisciplinary team, supported by the most modern diagnostic and treatment infrastructure to deal with all major problems arising in the head and neck region. This is the first of its kind clinical service, which brings under one umbrella a multidisciplinary team of specialists in the fields of Head and Neck Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Maxillofacial Surgery, Neurosurgery and Otorhinolaryngology for the management of complex ailments of the head and neck region.
The Department offers state of art treatment in head and neck cancers. The treatment is decided and executed by a multi disciplinary tumor board comprising of surgical, medical and radiation oncologists as well as supportive services like pathologists, head and neck radiologist and swallowing therapy specialists. The patients are offered appropriate reconstruction including microvascular free flaps. The swallowing therapy center in the department is first of its kind in the country.
The spectrum of work executed by the department include endoscopic and conventional skull base surgery, laser surgery sialendoscopy and management of thyroid diseases.
The department pioneered the training in head and neck surgical oncology by starting its 3 year fellowship training programme 10 years back. The programme was accorded recognition as MCh programme by the medical council this year and is the only other institution in India along with Tata Memorial Hospital to run such programme. The swallowing therapy unit runs an MSc programme which is also first of its kind in the country. The department runs teaching programmes every year in microvascular surgery, head and neck cancers, thyroid disorder management and Craniomaxillofacial trauma. The department has several international publications to its credit and has bagged prizes in all the national conferences in head and neck surgery in the country for the past 10 years. The faculty has been recognized in various international forums and the department has hosted several national and international trainees.
The Department of Medical Oncology and Haematology covers the treatment and prevention of solid tumours , benign and malignant hematological disorders in adults and children. Facilities are also available to undertake outpatient chemotherapies in a specialised day care unit. Both in-patient and outpatient chemotherapy are offered. All cases are discussed in multidisciplinary tumour board and treatment decisions are made accordingly. Diagnositc procedures such as Bone Marrow Aspiration, Bone Marrow Biopsy, Lumbar Puncture, Paracentesis as well as Therapeutic procedures such as intrathecal administration of medications are all being carried out on routine basis. Bone Marrow Transplant services (Autologous & Allogenic) are also available in our Department. In addition to this, a separate pain and palliative care team which gives pain management and supportive care on IP basis as well as arrangement for continued care at home. The services of a psycho- oncologist to address the psychosocial issues of patients and their family is available. The DM program in Medical Oncology was started in 2011 with an intake of one candidate per year.
One of the first few specialities to start at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, the Department of Nephrology started functioning in July 1998. The Nephrology unit has facilities to treat all types of kidney diseases in all age groups. The Department provides comprehensive health care for patients with different types of renal (kidney) diseases.
Acute and chronic renal diseases and renal problems due to diabetes mellitus, hypertension, stone disease, infections, hereditary illnesses and poisons are diagnosed and treatment is provided. Till now, over 250,000 patients have been treated in the outpatient clinics and over 15,000 patients have been treated in the wards.
The Department has a state-of-the-art dialysis unit, where over 1,56,500 dialysis has been completed so far. The excellent care rendered by the unit has resulted in patients surviving over ten years on hemodialysis and enjoying a good quality of life. Other treatment modalities like continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, plasmapheresis, hemoperfusion, continuous renal replacement therapy and slow low effciency dialysis are being done regularly and successfully. Kidney transplantation is being done for the last 11 years; transplantation is a team work which involves the Urology unit, Anaesthesiology and other supporting departments. The donors have been first degree relatives (385 in number) and deceased donors (20 in number). A recent analysis of the survival data showed a ten year survival of 81%, which is superior to many well known centers in USA (77%). The Department conducts a DM course in Nephrology, as well as M. Sc. courses in Dialysis therapy and Allied Health Sciences ; in addition, a Ph. D. programme goes on in the department. There have been over 35 publications from the Department in peer reviewed indexed national and international journals.
The Department of Neurology provides care to patients with diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, and muscle-related diseases and conditions utilising state—of—the—art technology and a world-class medical team. It includes the following disciplines:
Formally trained and experienced specialists are available for consultation and management of neuro behavioural and memory disorders, neuromuscular diseases, cerebrovascular disease, movement disorders, seizure disorders, headache, paediatric neurology and sleep disorders. The Neurology Department provides:
Diagnostic services include:
- Non-invasive vascular testing
- Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- Cerebral angiograph
- Nerve conduction study
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Electroencephalography (EEG)
- Poly sonnography (sleep study)
These imaging services offer capability for digital storage and facilities for remote site access.
Neurosurgery is the speciality concerned with the surgical treatment of diseases of the nervous system composed of the brain, spinal cord and spinal column, as well as the nerves that travel through all parts of the body. The Department of Neurosurgery at AIMS is fully equipped to perform all types of surgeries for a wide range of illnesses. These include:
The department is supported by state-of-the-art dedicated neurosurgical operation theatres, equipped with a Carl Zeiss OPMI NC4 Operating Microscope, a Karl Storz Neuroendoscope, a Midas Rex drill system, a ValleyLab Ultrasonic Surgical aspirator, a Siemens C—arm with facility for DSA, Codman and Aesculap operating instruments, and a Leksell Stereotactic frame. A dedicated Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit provides comprehensive care for postoperative and acutely ill patients. The Department also now offers steriotactic radiosurgery in connection with Radiation Oncology and Medical Physics.
The Pediatric Cardiac Program is now among the largest in India in terms of number of patients undergoing surgical and non-surgical treatment of congenital heart disease. The unique features of the program include with focus on teamwork, excellence and continuous quality improvement. As a result AIMS has currently among the best surgical results in the country. The program caters to patient referrals from all over India. The program caters to patient referrals from all over India. Children from Africa, Middle East, and from neighboring countries such as Maldives, Bangladesh and Mauritius have also benefited from the program. Over 3000 new children with heart disease visit the Paediatric Cardiology clinic annually.
The department of pediatric cardiology has evolved to become the premier academic center in the country and one of the leading centers in the developing world. This is now the first global training center of the Children’s Heartlink and a training center for a number of trainees in pediatric cardiology, cardiac surgery and intensive care from all over the world.
Some of the other highlights of the program’s accomplishments include:
The Department of Paediatric Surgery treats children from day one to eighteen years of age. All the facilities to take care of children needing surgery are available under one roof. A well-experienced team of doctors is available to take round-the-clock care of the children. All types of open and endoscopic procedures are performed in the department. Excellent supportive care in the form of a tertiary care NICU is available for sick and critical neonates, plus a fully equipped pediatric surgical ICU with pediatric ventilators and 24 x 7 anaesthetist backup. The Department also has a full-fledged training program in M.Ch.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
The Department of Plastic Surgery has 7 consultants and is considered as one of the best in the country. The Department caters to the entire spectrum of plastic surgery activities including aesthetic surgery. The specialized services offered by the Department includes microvascular surgery, facial plastic surgery, hair transplant services, brachial plexus service, cleft and craniofacial service and breast cancer reconstruction service. The cleft and craniofacial service is accredited to the smile train programme through which free treatment is offered to cleft lip and palate patients.
The Department runs an MCh programme in plastic surgery. There is also a microvascular fellowship programme. The department runs several training programs every year including a post graduate teaching programme, practical curses in microvascular surgery, flap harvesting and craniomaxillary trauma. The Department has several international publications to its credit and has bagged prizes in all the national conferences in head and neck surgery in the country for the past 10 years. The faculty has been recognized in various international forums and the department has hosted several national and international trainees. The Department runs an excellent tissue engineering research programme. The main thrusts of research activity includes adipose and cartilage tissue engineering.
The Centre for Pulmonary Medicine undertakes the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of pulmonary diseases in children, adolescents, and adults.
Comprehensive pulmonary medicine programs include specialised treatment of specific diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, sleep-disordered breathing, interstitial lung diseases, cystic fibrosis, occupational lung diseases, tuberculosis, infectious lung diseases and lung cancers. Department has a dedicated smoking cessation clinic and pulmonary rehabilitation programmes. The diagnostic facilities include full fledged pulmonary function laboratory with body plethysmography and cardiopulmonary exercise system for routine PFT, diffusion studies and lung volume measurements. Other than this, the diagnostic facility includes allergy skin testing, specific IgE allergy testing, dedicated sleep lab for assessing obstructive sleep apnoea and CPAP titration, flexible video bronchoscopic investigation, thoracoscopic procedure for pleural evaluation and biopsies.
With the facility of EBUS [endobronchial ultrasound] and chest ultrasound the interventional programmes are also conducted. The department is also supported with spiral and high resolution CT imaging and ventilation perfusion scans for detecting pulmonary embolism. The department has also made its mark in the academic aspect as a state of the art training centre in the post graduate and superspeciality levels. The DM programme in pulmonary medicine was initiated in 2010, AIMS being the second centre offering this course in the country [other than PGI Chandigarh]. The department caters to the need of critically ill patients at IRCU constantly manned by in house pulmonologists. Research activities of the department have been acknowledged at the global level with senior department faculty serving as key opinion leader in various international and national forums.
The Centre for Urology and Renal Transplantation offers comprehensive facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of genitourinary problems in adults and children. A highly qualified and experienced team of dedicated urologists and resident surgeons who are available 24 hours a day mans it. The latest "state of the art" technology and equipments are available. The faculty subspecializes in the fields of paediatric urology, urological oncology, laparoscopic urology, endourology, andrology, female urology, neuro - urology and reconstructive urology. Along with the support of the nephrology services more than 400 renal transplantation operations have been successfully performed. The department has established itself as one of the best of it's kind not only in the country but comparable to the best the world.