December 15, 2015
In what is claimed as first of its kind in Asia, Kovai Medical Center and Hospital has performed artificial heart implants on two patients so as to streamline blood inflow and enable the heart to function better than the normal.
The first ever such artificial transplant was done almost 25 years back in the U.S. and the next successful ones that used medical equipment from Germany have been done at KMCH, according to Dr. Prashanth Vaijayanath, Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
Artificial heart is a device that supplements the real heart for a period of time. It pumps blood adequately to sustain the body. The operations are usually simpler than a normal heart transplant, the surgeon said.
In an exclusive interview with The Covai Post he said that the artificial heart helps buy time and keeps the blood flow normal until donors are found. Implanting artificial heart on chronic heart patients has been possible with the expertise of a team of doctors and nurses trained for this particular operation. Supplementing the team is the most advanced ‘cardiohelp’ system from the United States, Dr Prashanth added. He and his team of doctors operated two patients in a span of six months.
Usually when a heart is transplanted from one person to another rejection and the infection needs to be taken care. If the body rejects the organ it will lead to infection. An infection in the heart caused due to rejection could also infect the other organs like liver, kidney, skin and brain. In order to prevent rejection, immunoseperation drugs are given.
On the other hand, in an artificial heart there is no rejection. There is no difficulty in running the artificial heart and technology has reached to a level where technical failures are almost minimal.
The first artificial heart implant was performed on 50-year old Arunmozhi Jeyanthi, at a cost of Rs.5.5 lakh. She suffered chronic pulmonary thromboembolism or multiple blood clots in the lungs. The left side of her ovarion vein and lungs were clogged, blocking blood flow to the heart and reducing the level of oxygen saturation. She was admitted almost 8-10 times in a year and was completely oxygen dependent.
Her condition was so poor that she was completely bed ridden, not even able to brush her teeth or sit for a while. Liquid food was all that she could take and since the equipment was yet to reach from Germany, she was kept on ventilator for 15 days and then operated upon. She was operated for almost 10 hours, clearing all the clots from her lungs. Now, she can walk, run, cycle and do any activity.
The other patient who underwent a similar implant was 33-year-old Sandip Kadam, a software professional in Delhi. He had several clots in his lungs and the doctors in a hospital in Delhi stated that his chances of survival was only 50 per cent.
He was then referred to KMCH .When he was admitted, his condition was critical, nevertheless, the surgeon promised help. He was operated for straight 9 hours and then kept under ventilation. Nearly 36 hours later his heart and lungs recovered completely and he confidently walked out of hospital after 5 days.
The adverse effects of this treatment however could be bleeding and organ dysfunction which may have adverse effects on the liver, kidneys, brain. Usually the heart takes 20 days to recover after implant. Those with the artificial tickers should exercise moderately and take care of themselves specially when they travel by flight.