|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 71-72
Professor T. Dorairajan
VR Ravikumar1, V Raveenthiran2
1 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Submission||15-Feb-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||15-Feb-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||04-Mar-2021|
Dr. V R Ravikumar
68. Alagesan Road 2, Saibaba colony, Coimbatore 641011, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Ravikumar V R, Raveenthiran V. Professor T. Dorairajan. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2021;26:71-2
Professor Thiruvengadasamy Dorairajan fondly called Prof. TDR was the father figure of pediatric surgery in India and a founder member of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons. He passed away on January 31, 2021 after a brief illness at the age of 90 years. A pioneer who sowed the seeds of growth of pediatric surgery in India is no more with us.
Prof. T. Dorairajan was born in Chennai on January 23, 1930 in a large family of Nine siblings. His brilliance was evident ever since his formative years at Kellet High School of Triplicane, Chennai, when he won the Papworth shield for the best outgoing student.
He entered Madras Medical College and received his basic medical degree (1947–1952) and postgraduate surgical training (1956–1958). During his college days, he won many prizes including the Sibthorpe prize in surgery, George Smith Prize in pathology, and Van Geyzel prize in biochemistry. He imbibed many excellent qualities of his surgical mentor Prof. U. Mohan Rao a surgeon of par excellence of yesteryears in Chennai.
In the early sixties, Prof. Dorairajan took interest in pediatric surgery, and under the Commonwealth Scholarship Program, he went to Australia and got trained by the doyen of Pediatric Surgery Douglas Stephens of the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. He did original research work on histological changes in megalourethra regarding the defects in the spongy tissue of the urethra which was published later in the Australian-New Zealand journal. During his stay, he got himself trained in many urological procedures and anorectal anomalies. When he left Melbourne, Douglas Stephens presented him a McCarthy's miniature cysto urethroscope with which he did initially the endourological procedures in India till he got the regular infant cystoscope and rectoscope from the government. Subsequently, he gave back the resectoscope to archive it in memory of Douglas Stephens to the museum of Sydney Children's Hospital.
He joined the Government Erskine Hospital in Madurai in 1962 and started the department of pediatric surgery against all odds. He started M. Ch. Pediatric surgery in 1968 and one of the earliest to start a postgraduate course in pediatric surgery in India.
Prof. TDR was the first surgeon to do many complicated urological procedures in children. He was the first to do open perineal urethrostomy and excision of posterior urethral valves when infant cystoscope and resectoscope were not available. He pioneered early decortication for empyema and taught sacroperineal pull through for anorectal anomaly based on Douglas Stephens's observations on the anatomy of the anorectal region. He had mastered the art of Swenson's pull-through for Hirschsprung's which he used to execute with great precision and excellent results.
He had the unique honor of presiding four prestigious surgical organizations, namely the Indian Chapter of the International College of Surgeons, Association of Surgeons of India, Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and Indian Academy of Paediatrics. He received many laurels including Pandalai Oration, Honorary Fellowship of International College of Surgeons, and Lifetime Contribution Award from the Honorable President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
He went on to occupy many covet posts including Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Madurai Medical College (1970–1979), Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Madras Medical College (1979–1987), Director and Medical Superintendent of the Institute of Child Health, Chennai (1986–1987), and Director of Medical Services of Tamil Nadu Government (1987–1988). He was governing council member of Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University (1988–1994) and Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna (1982–1988).
He along with Prof. Subir Chatterjee represented India at the Wingspread Convention on anorectal malformations. He has published his experience on the management of rectal atresia, hydronephrosis, and chronic calcifying pancreatitis. His doctoral thesis as to why hemangiomas are more common in fair-skinned people than in Coloured races was very much appreciated.
When laparoscopy was introduced, he got himself trained even though he was nearing 70 years and took part in all the conferences wherever the lap work was done and also demonstrated his skills in workshops even in his early eighties. He was the first to demonstrate thoracoscopic sympathectomy for hyperhidrosis. He was also the founder convener of Pediatric Endoscopic Surgeons of India.
His involvement in the National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme, and Boy Scout during his college days chiseled him to be a perfect disciplinarian. His punctuality and mastery over the English language are impeccable. Immaculately dressed, polite but firm in his convictions, he drew great respect from his peers, students, and all alike.
He was one of the most respected senior pediatric surgeons in our country and one of the pioneers who touched all our hearts. It is a great loss to our fraternity and for decades to come, we will fondly remember his contribution to uplift pediatric surgery in our country. On behalf of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, we convey our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, Mrs. Pramila Dorairajan, his children Dr. Ramesh, Dr. Usha, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
”Gone to your abode above but still linger in our hearts”