A 58-year-old man who underwent a heart transplant walked out of hospital less than a fortnight after the surgery.

On Saturday, Narayanan, an employee of Port Trust, felt much better than he had in a long time. After he was declared unfit for conventional procedures to repair his heart, Narayanan, who hails from Nellore, was referred to Global Hospitals.

According to cardiologists who treated him, the patient had presented with a terminal heart failure, caused by ‘dilated cardiomyopathy,’ a fairly common condition known as ‘enlarged heart’.

“He came to us with a complaint of severe breathlessness and was in a critical condition. He had been under medical management for five years. We measured the heart’s pumping capacity and the ejection fraction (the heart’s ability to pump blood) was only 20 per cent. He had undergone angioplasty five years ago and since the heart muscles were damaged, a bypass or angioplasty was not possible,” said chief cardiologist Joy M. Thomas.

Doctors did a PET viability test which confirmed their worst fears. They then decided that the patient needed maximal anti-failure therapy followed by a heart transplant at the earliest. He was stabilised for two days and prepared for a transplant.

On November 27, cardiac surgeons performed the transplant. Narayanan was given the heart of a 30-year-old woman, a victim of a road accident who was declared brain dead at the hospital.

Cardiologists, however, credit the team of physiotherapists and anaesthetists for the speed with which the patient has recovered. According to them, the patient was constantly monitored post-surgery by both the specialists and within a week he was up on his feet. He will return for the monthly review after three weeks, doctors said.

According to K. Ravindranath, chairman of the Global Hospitals group, currently the Chennai centre has the capability to perform transplants of all four organs — heart, liver, lungs and kidneys — harvested from brain dead patients. “As an organisation, we are very focussed on organ transplant,” he said.

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