Performing open heart surgeries at the CMCH has been a persistent demand from various sections as it is a tertiary referral hospital serving the poor in the districts of Coimbatore, Tirupur, the Nilgiris, Erode and even Palakkad in Kerala.

The Coimbatore Medical College Hospital resumed open heart surgery after five years by closing atrial septal defect (a hole in the wall of the heart’s upper chamber that is called atrium) in a nine-year-old boy who was born with the defect.

Performing open heart surgeries at the CMCH has been a persistent demand from various sections as it is a tertiary referral hospital serving the poor in the districts of Coimbatore, Tirupur, the Nilgiris, Erode and even Palakkad in Kerala.

As many as 27 surgeries to correct some congenital defects had been performed till 2007 by the cardio-thoracic surgery department.

Machine

But, some internal reasons, including the non-availability of a heart-lung machine had stopped the surgery.

“We have embarked on a fresh effort and we will proceed gradually,” said head of the department M. Vanithamani, who led a team of surgeons including K.S. Ganesan and Senthil Kumar. The team of anaesthetists was led by A. Chandrasekaran.

“We plan to perform regularly open heart surgeries to correct atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect (ventricle is the lower chamber) and also for valve replacement.

“We will then proceed to do coronary artery bypass graft. The bypass surgery can be done even without the heart-lung machine as the beating heart technique is being increasingly used,” Dr. Vanithamani said.

Resident Medical Officer P. Sivaprakasam said the first beneficiary of the resumed heart surgery programme of the hospital – M. Nagaraj – hailed from a poor family at Podanur Chettipalayam.

Procedure

The boy was identified for surgery some days ago and the procedure was done from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday following clearance by Dean R. Vimala.

According to sources, the CMCH resumed the heart surgery after Health Minister V.S. Vijay castigated the hospital authorities for not performing heart surgeries despite being provided with the required equipment.

He had given a month’s time to resume surgeries.

When asked about the facilities, Dr. Vanithamani said the CMCH had all the modern equipment, surgical skill and clean individual rooms for patients.

Philanthropic individuals or organisations could sponsor more equipment that would only enhance the standards of heart care in the CMCH, she said.

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