When V. Krishnan drove to a private hospital at Mylapore from his home on April 23, he did not realise that he was very sick and would need surgery.
Neither had he anticipated that he would spend nearly two months in hospital.
The 60-year-old had been feeling breathless and on the insistence of his wife, Alamelu, had agreed for a check-up. Though mildly diabetic and hypertensive, he had never ever been hospitalised, recalled his sister Lakshmi Venkatakrishnan.
At the hospital, doctors advised that he be admitted. He was in the hospital for a week and was deteriorating rapidly but doctors could not diagnose his condition. Finally, his siblings contacted cardiac and vascular surgeon V.V. Bashi, who had treated a couple of members in the family earlier.
Dr. Bashi reviewed the medical reports and found the patient going into a cardiac and lung failure. “We could not treat him at the hospital as it did not have the facilities. He was very sick and had to be put on heart-lung machine support immediately,” Dr. Bashi recalled.
A.B. Gopalamurugan, who specialises in advanced heart failure treatment, developed the treatment protocol. Mr. Krishnan was put on extra-corporeal life support under local anaesthesia: tubes were inserted through the femoral artery and vein to maintain oxygenation of the blood. “As soon as the patient’s entire heart and lung function were taken over, he was partially stabilised and began to speak, indicating that he was feeling better,” Dr. Bashi said.
He was then transported on ECLS (extra-corporeal life support) to SIMS, Vadapalani, on April 30, where Dr. Gopalamurugan performed an emergency angiogram and valvuloplasty to open up a critically narrowed heart valve to improve heart function.
The patient was stabilised for around 10 days with medication to improve his heart muscle function. Once his heart and lungs functioning improved, the ECLS machine was withdrawn and Dr. Bashi assessed his condition. In the third week of May, an open-heart surgery comprising a valve replacement and bypass operation were performed at the same time, to repair the patient’s diseased valve and blood vessel.
Mr. Krishnan, who was discharged on Thursday, said, “The doctors in the (first) hospital were taking a long time to diagnose my condition. I had confidence in the doctors here and am amazed by the dedication of the support staff.”
Valve replacement and bypass
operation were performed at
the same time