SRINAGAR: The Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu, achieved a milestone when a large hole in the heart of a girl child was repaired through a minimal access method.
A doctor who was among the team that carried out the surgery told that the process involved a minimal access method through a 5.5 cm muscle, sparing non-muscle cutting, an incision in the right axilla (armpit) area of the right side of the chest wall, thus avoiding the area of right breast tissue.”
“This is a novel technique in which the heart was not stopped while carrying out the repair of the hole in the organ,” chief surgeon Dr Shyam Singh said, adding that the procedure was carried out while the heart was continuously beating.
There are only a few cardiothoracic centres that fix such holes in the beating heart, Dr Singh said. These delicate operations need precision and alertness of each member of the team including anaesthetists, perfusionists and scrub nurses, he added.
The doctor said the seven-year-old patient was extubated soon after the operation as she became fully awake. Her heart rate, blood pressure and other vital parameters became normal, he said.
The technique, the doctor said, gives very good cosmetic results as the scar hides by the arm and the area of the right breast tissue is not disturbed. Besides the short hospital stay, the amount of blood and painkiller drugs required are also less as compared to conventional procedure which is performed by splitting the breast bone (sternum) and making the heart stand still (quiet) using drugs to stop the heartbeat when the surgery is performed, he said, adding that the patient can move the same day of surgery.
The new technique was carried out using the same set of equipment and instruments as for conventional surgery without adding to the cost, Dr Shyam said. He said all the expenses of consumables and other drugs used were covered under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
Regarding the patient, the doctor said the child was failing to grow for her age and had palpitations (rapid heartbeats) and repeated chest infections while her heart chambers were enlarged. The excessive flow of blood was going into the lungs because of the hole between two upper chambers of the heart, he said.
The surgical team comprised Dr Shyam Singh, Dr I A Mir, assisted by Dr Taruna and Dr Baba Simran Singh. Dr Vivek Gandotra, Dr Prabhdeep Singh also helped in carrying out the procedure.
Principal GMC Jammu Professor Dr Shashi Sudhan while visiting the patient congratulated the doctor and applauded the team effort. She said people should utilise these facilities at their doorsteps under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme which is being run successfully in the GMC and Associated Hospitals in Jammu—(KNO)