KOCHI: He is the most important authority across the globe in repairing the problems in the valve of aorta, the largest blood vessel in human body that supplies blood to all major organs. Dr Hans Joachim Schafers, director, department of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery, Saarland, University Medical Center, Germany, says it’s time the problems of the largest vessel valve which often goes unnoticed, are identified and repaired.
Dr Hans who is in Kochi for the launch of the first centre in India for aortic diseases with marfan clinic at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, says bicuspid aortic valve disease, which is one variant of the disease, roughly affects 1 to 2 % of the population. “Fifty percent of bicuspid can lead to aortic dilation which can lead to rupture of the vessel or aortic dissection. The latter can be treated through timely intervention while rupture leads to instant death,” he said.
Dr Hans said that suffocation and high blood pressure are two issues that need to be monitored as indicative of aortic problems. Patients need to be aware of this. Aortic diseases need timely management by a multi-disciplinary team. “The Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder of the connective tissue. The patients tend to be tall and thin with long arms, legs, fingers and toes. Marfan syndrome, afflicting 1 in 5,000 people, leads to internal splitting of the aorta. These patients need not only the management of their aortic condition but also comprehensive treatment by genetic specialists and ophthalmologists,” he added.
He said that often deaths due to aortic valve malfunctioning are attributed as heart attack or failure deaths. Dr. Praveen Varma, head, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, said so far artificial valves were used in such malfunctioning cases. “Dr Hans brings here the repairing technique. The repairing is useful in the case of children and young adults with the malfunctioning whose number is increasing,” he said....