A six-year-old Aurangabad boy got a fresh shot at life after he underwent a six-hour cardiac surgery to correct several congenital heart defects that made him a rare case in paediatric heart conditions. The boy, Sanket More, had transposition of great arteries, a congenital birth defect in which his right and left ventricles’ functions were reversed. Moreover, Sanket’s heart was situated on the right side of his body and had a hole in it.
In a series of medical complications, he had a short blood vessel connecting his heart and lung which doctors had to artificially extend. The boy underwent a surgery last Friday. Doctors believe with so many congenital defects, the boy would not have survived beyond 15 years. His parents claim their family in Aurangabad was relieved that such a complicated procedure ended successfully. “We didn’t know so many complications could ever be treated. The day after his surgery he said he wants to eat khichdi. He looks stable,” his mother Dwarka More said.
The first signs came when the boy’s face turned bluish. “He got tired carrying his bag to school. He would complain of chest pain and suffered from sustained weight loss,” More said. The parents took him to MGM Hospital in Pune and later to a private doctor who referred them to Mumbai. The boy underwent a detailed echocardiography that showed a huge hole in his heart and extremely poor blood supply to lungs.
“Because he has so many complications, the case becomes rare and high-risk. During the surgery, plugging the hole in heart could have hampered the electrical impulses,” said Dr Shreepal Jain, pediatric cardiologist.
A team of cardiac experts consulted international journals to get reference for the case. “We decided to rectify the interchanged heart chambers. Usually, left ventricle pumps out pure blood. In his case right one pumped out pure blood,” said Dr Shivaprakash Krishnanaik, head of pediatric cardiac unit.
The boy was put on a heart-lung machine on May 19 night for a six-hour-long procedure. His hole was plugged first. Doctors corrected the impure blood flow and made it divert from right ventricle to lungs. The pure blood flow was also corrected from left ventricle to all organs. In addition, an artificial artery between lungs and heart was created to increase blood supply to lungs.
“The child was treated through donations,” said Dr Gustad Daver, medical director at Sir H N Reliance Hospital.
Sanket is currently on oral feeds and will be discharged in a week.
According to treating doctors, he was put off ventilator support 12 hours after the surgery. “Instances of double switches is common where left and right chambers of heart function opposite. But this case presented other challenges. The heart was located towards right side. There was a hole in it. It made the surgery a high-risk case,” Jain said.
The hospital has conducted 400 pediatric cardiac operations in the past year and half. Doctors claim several back up operation plans had been chartered prior to surgery in case Sanket’s condition worsened.
“I hope he’ll be able to play now like other boys do,” said his mother.