Chennai: An effective alternative of open-heart surgery called the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) was done on a 69 year-old man at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) recently, a first in a government hospital.
Radhakrishnan, who hails from Thiruporur was suffering from asthma and severe narrowing of the valve. This illness prevented him from working for a year and carried a high risk for open-heart surgery due to asthma.
TAVR is a procedure where a catheter mounted prosthetic valve is introduced and implanted within the damaged valve and stretched with a balloon. Therefore, TAVR was suggested and performed on Radhakrishnan by a team of cardiologists at RGGGH including Dr G.Gnanavelu, Dr N. Swaminathan, Dr Cecily Mary Majella and Dr G Ravishankar. The surgery was performed within a time span of 40 minutes, which would otherwise take three hours.
Medicos say that among the four valves in heart, aortic valve (valve between the aorta and left ventricle) regulates the flow of blood from left ventricle to rest of the body. Due to aging and birth defect rheumatic heart disease, this valve gets thickened with calcium deposits and narrowed thus preventing and reducing the blood flow to the rest of the body. This leads to breathlessness, fainting, chest pain and sudden death.
“An indigenously manufactured valve was implanted in the patient. This procedure was done under sedation through a pinhole from right thigh. The next day, patient will be ambulant and is free of his symptoms and is ready to carry on his work,” said Dr R Jayanthi, dean, RGGGH.
Around 10 lakh people suffer from this condition in India. Patients who posses high risk for anesthesia and open-heart surgery will be benefited out of this treatment. 250 patients have undergone this procedure in the country. Since it is done using a local anesthesia with sedation and avoids the opening of chest (non-surgical) the recovery is immediate.
The TAVR procedure is not yet covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, however, efforts have been initiated for including it in the scheme....