Yashoda Hospital performs implantation of the first heart assist device in AP
Yashoda Group of Hospitals performed a rare surgery and implanted the first heart assist device in Andhra Pradesh, thus saving 63 year old heart patient’s life. The 63 year old homemaker, P Kasturi from AS Rao Nagar, Secunderabad, received the first heart assist device, also called Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), under the new ventricular assist device programme at Yashoda Hospital, Secunderabad.
This complicated surgery was performed on July 10 2012 by a team of doctors headed by Dr AGK Gokhale, Chief Cardiothoracic, Transplant and Minimal Access Heart Surgeon. The anesthetists’ team was headed by Dr GM Subramanyam. The patient had a heart valve problem on the left side with an extremely poor heart function. She was suffering from severe narrowing of aortic valve (valve on left side of the heart) and her pumping chamber on left side was very weak (severe left ventricular dysfunction). The patient developed severe breathing difficulty 10 days back and had to be put on ventilator.
Dr Gokhale performed this rare surgery and replaced the aortic valve and implanted the LVAD. This was done for the first time in Andhra Pradesh. So far, only four such implantations were done in India. This is another option that is available for patients with heart failure. LVAD`, when implanted, take over the function of the heart partially; keep the patient alive until either heart recovers or patient goes for heart transplantation.
LVAD, a device used as a ‘bridge to recovery or as a ‘bridge to transplantation,’ is a battery-operated device that helps keep a patient alive when heart can not effectively work on its own. While the damaged heart pumps part of the blood needed for the body, the remaining blood is pumped by the device taking the burden off from the damaged heart. This will buy time to help the heart to recover or till a donor heart is found for heart transplantation.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Gokhale said, “The patient was on ventilator with breathing difficulty and was suffering from severe left ventricular dysfunction. As her breathing and blood pressure were not improving, her cardiologist performed balloon dilatation of the valve. Despite this, her condition remained critical and she could not be taken off the ventilator. After discussion with the immediate kith and kin of the patient, we decided that she immediately requires an open heart surgery at a very high risk.”
“Without surgery, her chances to survive were meager. Till recently the only option for such patients in India was to go ahead with open heart surgery and accept a risk of about 50 per cent. A few months back, a new device ‘CentriMag heart assist device’ was approved for use in India. The device will perform the work of left heart chambers giving time for the left ventricle to recover. It was used for this lady after open heart surgery. This operation took 6 hours. Patient is taken off the ventilator within 24 hours after surgery and she is breathing on her own and recovering well. Depending on the need this device can be left for 30 days to help the heart recover.” he further added.