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Manmohan stable after 11-hour surgery

Manmohan Singh

Manmohan Singh  

Aarti Dhar

Five bypasses done in blocked arteries

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday successfully underwent a repeat coronary artery bypass graft at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here. The 11-hour surgery was conducted by a team of doctors from the AIIMS and the Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai.

“The Prime Minister is conscious, responding and stable,” Dr. Singh’s personal cardiologist K.S. Reddy told journalists soon after the Prime Minister was wheeled out of the operation theatre to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Cardio Thoracic and Neurology Centre at the AIIMS.

The surgical team conducted five bypasses to remove five blocks in the same arteries that were blocked when Dr. Singh underwent a bypass in 1990. Even the stent inserted in 2004 was damaged, said Ramakant Panda of the Asian Heart Institute, who performed the procedure. The grafts were taken from his chest, left hand and leg.

The breathing machines will be taken off in a couple of hours and all “attachments and machines” by Monday morning, said Dr. Panda, an expert in repeat bypass surgery. Dr. Singh (76) will be kept in the ICU for the next three days and in the hospital for about a week.

Dr. Reddy said the Prime Minister should be able to perform “some” official duties within two weeks, “most” official duties within four weeks and should be “fully active and functional” within six weeks. Dr. Singh chose to go in for the surgery early so that he would be fit enough to campaign in the Lok Sabha elections, he said.

Dismissing speculation that there were some “setbacks” during the operation, Dr. Panda said this type of surgery was always time-consuming. “We do not look at the clock but just do the best for the patient.”

According to him, 98 per cent of the patients performed well after the surgery and the only causes for concern were excessive bleeding and infection, of which the Prime Minister showed no sign.

The team decided on repeat bypass after accessing various options. This is the best long-term option considering that the Prime Minister is diabetic and already had a stent. The ‘beating heart’ procedure, done while the organ is still beating, instead of the traditional method of putting the patient on the heart-lung machine, ensures faster recovery.

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