Doctors at the SRM Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Hospital have successfully performed a mitral valve replacement for a 60-year-old woman, for whom this was the fifth cardiac procedure.
V.V. Bashi, director and senior consultant, Institute of Cardiac and Aortic Disorders, who headed the team that performed the surgery, said that though re-operative cardiac procedures were becoming common with advancement in the medical field, a person undergoing these many procedures at the age of 60 was extremely rare and risky.
Mohammed Idhrees, consultant cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon at the hospital, said that K. Eswari, the patient, underwent two mitral valve repairs in the 1990s following damages to the valve due to rheumatic heart disease.
In 2008, after the condition of her valve degenerated further, a mechanical valve was implanted. “Those receiving mechanical valve implants must be on blood thinners. If not, the mechanical valve will get damaged quickly,” he said.
He said some people, however, failed to strictly adhere to the medication protocol due to several factors, including their socio-economic conditions.
“As Ms. Eswari failed to be on blood thinners, her valve got damaged within a year,” he said. Consequently, in 2009, the damaged mechanical valve was replaced with a bio-prosthetic valve, which did not require patients to be on blood thinners. After 12 years, this valve was damaged, necessitating another replacement, the doctor said.
Dr. Bashi said the open-heart procedure performed was complicated and life-threatening due to the patient’s history. “Since she has undergone four surgeries earlier, the internal scar tissues between the structures of the chest make it challenging to re-enter the chest and perform the surgery without damaging parts of the heart,” he said, adding that the surgery was necessary as the patient had severe breathlessness.
Lauding the team of doctors and other staff, Raju Sivasamy, SIMS vice-president, said that such complex surgeries could be done due to the superior surgical skills of the doctors and the availability of latest technologies.
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