A 22-year-old Yemeni national suffering from end-stage heart failure underwent a rare and high-risk left ventricular assist device implantation (LVAD) procedure at Sahyadri Super Speciality Hospital, Deccan Gymkhana on February 13.
A statement issued by the hospital said he will be discharged within two weeks.
Dr Manoj Durairaj, programme director, department of heart transplantation at Sahyadri Hospitals, said when the patient came four months ago, he was suffering from breathlessness. Investigations revealed that the main pumping chamber of his heart was affected, which resulted in end-stage heart failure.
“We didn’t have many options before us and decided to go for LVAD implantation procedure as the patient was very sick. In such cases, heart transplant may be an option but being an overseas patient, the long waiting period could have shut any hope,” said Durairaj.
Durairaj added that the Left Ventricular Assist Device takes over the function of the main pumping chamber of the heart — the left ventricle. This option is chosen for patients who have end-stage heart failure when all other treatment options have failed. It can be a permanent treatment (destination therapy) or used as a bridge to heart transplant. The procedure involves performing open heart surgery on a heart lung machine. The surgery is challenging because the patients have advanced heart failure. The implanted machine is controlled from outside at first so that the programming has to be perfect before discharge.
The machine runs on a miniature mobile battery control unit that has to carried by the patient and recharged every 8-12 hours. The patient will also have to be on blood thinner tablets.
The survival of such sick patients without any treatment is only 5 per cent over a year. Durairaj said patients with LVAD have a survival chance of more than 90 per cent in the first year and good long-term outcomes.
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