Special Correspondent

Rare heart surgery performed on a 17-year-old girl

  • Youngest patient to undergo the surgery in Visakhapatnam
  • Seven Hills Foundation funds the surgery costing Rs.1 lakh

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Bypass surgery was performed on a 17-year-old girl at a city hospital, the youngest patient to undergo the surgery in Visakhapatnam and probably in the State, according to the doctors and the hospital authorities.

    "Not only that the bypass was performed on a young patient, it is also probably the first time that both the chest arteries have been used for the bypass. Stents should not be used in these cases because the stent also gets blocked due to cholesterol," said chief cardiac surgeon of Seven Hills Hospital, Shirish Borkar, at a press conference held in the hospital on Wednesday to explain the surgery.

    Genetic problem

    The girl was experiencing chest pain even if she exerted a little and had skin problems since childhood. This was due to high level of cholesterol present in her blood. This was a genetic problem her family was not aware. Also, her brother died at the age of 14 due to a heart attack. The patient approached many doctors but her problem could not be identified. However, when she attended a free heart check-up camp conducted by the Seven Hills Hospital, the doctors diagnosed her to be suffering from familial hyperlipidemia, a condition in which the cholesterol levels remain high since birth. Angiography revealed that there were severe blocks in the heart arteries including one in the main artery of heart. She was advised to undergo coronary arterial bypass graft (CABG). Since the patient was very poor, the Seven Hills Foundation decided to take care of the surgery costing about Rs.1 lakh.

    Maximum benefit

    The bypass surgery was performed on March 13. Dr. Borkar used latest techniques to perform the surgery which done on the beating heart (heart function was not stopped during surgery). Arteries from the chest wall were used, which is called total arterial revascularisation, so that the patient would get the maximum benefit out of the surgery.

    A team of doctors that included cardiologists S.C. Sinha and V. Sujatha, cardiac anaesthesiologist M. Sunil C.V. Sagar assisted Dr. Borkar during the surgery and management of the patient.

    Superintendent of the hospital M. Dinakar was present.