In a rare case,man survives third heart surgery

In a rare case,man survives third heart surgery

His chance of survival in the third was only 50 per cent.

Fifty-nine-year-old Ashok Gandhi underwent a third heart surgery last week. While heart surgeries are common,Ashok’s case is rare as he has already undergone two bypass surgeries in the past. His chance of survival in the third was only 50 per cent.

Ashok,an apparel trader in Ghatkopar,underwent a coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) in 1987. In 2002,another surgery became necessary. According to experts,Gandhi falls in the five per cent category of patients who need a CABG for the second time.

“I have a family history of high cholesterol. Despite not being a diabetic or a smoker,my arteries got clogged twice,” he said.

Two years back,Gandhi started experiencing pain in his back when he walked and his breathing became heavier. “He used to pant if he was tense. He was on medication for some time. However,earlier this month,doctors suggested to go for aorta valve replacement,” said Kamini Gandhi,Ashok’s wife.


According to Dr Shripal Doshi,thoracic surgeon in S R Mehta and Sir K P Cardiac Institute,Gandhi’s aortic valve had narrowed,which obstructed the blood flow from the heart and resulted in heavy breathing. However,since he had already undergone two CABGs,the third operation involved a 51 per cent risk of death.

“When the heart is re-operated,it leads to fibrosis since the tissues have already been cut open. The biggest danger is of heart bleeding,which can cause instantaneous death,” Shirpal said. He added that while there is 5-8 per cent risk when the heart is operated on for the second time,the risk considerably increases the third time.

Ashok’s surgery involved a replacement of natural valve by a metal valve. The surgery was completed in eight hours. Usually this surgery takes two to three hours. “His heart was stuck to the chest bone and there was bleeding. Repeated incision in the tissues had led to scarring and there was only a remote chance of survival,” Shirpal said.

“When the operation stretched longer,I was beginning to think that he might not be able to make it,” Kamini said.

Ashok,however,miraculously survived the surgery. Ashok is currently recuperating at the hospital.