Timely heart surgery saves woman's life amid corona lockdown

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Even as non-COVID patients were facing problems in getting treatment amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, a very high-risk open-heart surgery at a hospital in Delhi helped save a 31-year-old woman's life during the ongoing nationwide lockdown.


Kirti of Rohini was suffering from chronic cardiac ailments for the past four years, though her condition deteriorated severely in the last week of April amid the lockdown. She required an urgent open-heart surgery, for which she was taken to the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital on April 30 after experiencing breathlessness and irregular heartbeats.


An ECHO procedure revealed a severe leak in one of the ascending aorta that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to every part of the body. The size of her heart had expanded abnormally.


Dr Rajeev Kumar Rajput, senior consultant in Interventional Cardiology Department, said: "This condition is called Bicuspid Aortic Valve, where the aorta expands up to 5 cm and causes severe leakage, impacting smooth flow of oxygen-rich blood to other organs of the body. If not treated timely, this condition can be life-threatening and even catastrophic because of dissection and rupture of aorta."


The cardiology and cardio-thoracic team led by Dr Rajput and Dr Mukesh Goel conducted the high-risk open-heart surgery with Bentall Procedure that involved replacement of the ruptured valve.


Dr Goel said: "During the 8-hour-long procedure we did a Bentall Procedure to replace damaged aorta and re-implant coronary arteries into the graft. Post-surgery the patient also experienced a blockage in her heart, for which a pacemaker was implanted."


"After successful recovery in the CTVS ICU for nine days, the patient was discharged on May 10. She will be able to lead a normal life with periodic monitoring and care," he added.


Kirti said: "Initially, we were apprehensive about the operation because of fear of COVID-19, but the hospital has a separate non-COVID area apart from the teams that ensured absolute hygiene through infection-control measures. Doctors and nursing teams took good care of me round the clock with absolute empathy."