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Updated: October 17, 2013 08:23 IST

New life for boy with rare condition

R. Sujatha
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Fourteen-year-old Chandran had to squat to regain his breath due to multiple congenital heart defects. His rare heart condition was diagnosed and managed at Jipmer until five years ago. Last month, he was referred to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GGH).

His tongue, face and fingernails had turned blue, though his haemoglobin count was 18.5 gm (the normal count is 13.5 gm). Doctors feared complications such as brain abscess or stroke. At the GGH, the boy underwent a range of investigations.

Scans showed ventricular septal defect and an overriding aorta. The pulmonary valve had an obstruction. The right ventricle had enlarged severely and the blood pressure in his lungs was high. Stumped by the case, the doctors wondered how he had survived so long.

However, after a difficult but successful surgery, Chandran, the son of an agricultural labourer from Parithipuram in Villupuram district, is all set to start his life anew. A Class VIII student at a government school, he will return home and lead a normal life.

“When we opened up his heart we found the aorta and pulmonary artery emanated from the right ventricle, a unexpected complication,” said cardiothoracic surgeon K.S. Ganesan, who led a 10-member team that performed the open-heart surgery on October 5.

“Normally, the aorta that carries oxygenated blood originates in the left ventricle and the pulmonary artery, which carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs, originates in the right ventricle. We created a bidirectional shunt in the superior vena cava that would take blood to the lungs. We also did an atrial spetectomy (made a hole between the two atria to lower pressure on the ventricles) with Azygos (vein) litigation, thus providing an alternative path for blood to flow into the right atrium,” Dr. Ganesan explained. These procedures reduced the pressure on the right ventricle. “We did not consider relocating the aorta into the left ventricle as it is a complicated procedure and the patient could die,” the surgeon said.

Dean V. Kanagasabai said the surgery could have cost Rs. 4 lakh in a private hospital. “He has been in the hospital for over a month and that would also cost money,” he said. The surgery was done free of charge under the Chief Minister’s comprehensive health insurance scheme.

Very hearty news. Very many 'Thanks' to the team of Doctors who gave a new lease of life to the boy.

from:  Prabakaran
Posted on: Oct 17, 2013 at 23:02 IST

Tetralogy of Fallot is indeed a challenging medical condition to treat as well as perform surgery on. Cheers to the operating team of professionals who could successfully attempt this life-changing surgery on the child.

from:  Dr.Nitish Goel
Posted on: Oct 17, 2013 at 14:22 IST

The above mentioned conditin called DORV (Double outlet right ventricle) is not something that rare. I am sure surgeons like Dr. Cherian would have operated many of these patients in railway hospital and subsequently in the private set up.It may be new for Govt. hospital to do these procedure. In those days during Kamaraj period, govt. hospitals only will be douing all the rare things, and private hospitals will refer there. Thanks to the Kazhagams regime,. Govt, Hospitals have deteriorated.
Regarding this boy, as he had only a palliative procedure,he needs life long follow up and if he was living in a western country, probably he will live upto middle age. But I don't know about the finacial and expertise support, he will get in Tamilnadu.The govt. should make sure that he should be helped in all the ways,especially covering his medical expenses, with life long insurance.
At the same time, my hearty congratulatins for the RGH ream, which had pioneered this treatment in Govt.set up.

from:  R.Manivarmane
Posted on: Oct 17, 2013 at 13:43 IST

one more gateway to medicine.

from:  rinfe
Posted on: Oct 17, 2013 at 11:20 IST

hearty congrats o the team of doctors. I am always sure of the
capabilities of G.H. Private hospitals may be cosy and clean but the
cost doesn't warrant the same. People should cooperate to keep the
Hospitals clean.

from:  ssrajagopalan
Posted on: Oct 17, 2013 at 05:15 IST

Kudos to the doctors and hospital and the government for saving a poor man's life.
Wishing the boy all the best for his health!

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Oct 17, 2013 at 02:57 IST
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