A man who underwent angioplasty at 94 celebrated his 100th birthday in Aizawl recently, his doctor said.

V.L. Bela, a former school teacher from Mizoram, is leading a normal life after the procedure and the local church even made a special mention of his being most regular at Sunday service, Tarun Praharaj, senior consultant cardiologist at the B.M. Birla Heart Research Centre here, said on Thursday.

Thanks to low stress levels, good dietary practices and regular follow-ups, Mr. Bela is able to walk around and do a few chores. However, he can no longer go to church as he has been advised not to climb stairs.

‘Satisfied with life'

Dr. Praharaj visited Mr. Bela in Aizawl a week ago. He told the doctor that he was very satisfied with the life he was leading.

At the time of the angioplasty conducted in April 2005, Dr. Praharaj was very apprehensive. “Intervention in a patient above 80 years is not very common because at that age there is a very high risk. There are several cardiac and renal problems and there may be several complications.” In older patients, even doing an angiogram to ascertain if there is any blockage in the arteries is fraught with risks because the kidneys are often unable to excrete the dyes used.

Mr. Bela was referred to the B.M. Birla Heart Research Centre after doctors in Aizawl were unable to treat him for the bouts of chest pain he was experiencing. Dr. Praharaj found that there was a critical block of over 70 per cent in one of the branches of his coronary arteries.

Encouragement for others

“In the near future I hope that there will be more people among the elderly who are encouraged to undergo similar procedures. I wish to give them the hope that medicine has advanced for them to live a normal life,” Dr. Praharaj said.

Keywords: angioplasty