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23 Feb 2024, Edition - 3146, Friday

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Pathbreaking surgery: The only man in the country with two beating hearts!

Subhashini R


He is the only man in the country with two beating hearts and one of it is that of a woman! In a path breaking surgery claimed to be first in Asia Dr Prasanth Vaijyanath, Director, Cardio-Thoracic Surgery has performed a Heterotopic Heart Transplant at a city hospital.

Dr Prasanth told Covai Post that the transplant was done using the Direct Pulmonary Artery Anastomosis technique on May 30.

Mr. Vignesh (name changed) a 45-year-old man had to undergo this transplant procedure because the high lung pressure did not enable him to undergo a normal heart transplant. Calling it a ‘hard and demanding surgery’, the doctor stated that the native heart of the patient was only 10 percent operative. The doctor also said that it felt like destiny when the patient received the heart of a female donor which was smaller in size and was a perfect fit in the cavity.

Dr. Vaijyanath added that this operation is also genetically fascinating because now, the man will not only have the XY chromosome that all men have, but he also has the XX chromosome of a woman within him.

Explaining the functioning of the two hearts, the doctor said, “There are five connections between the two hearts.

Two connections are meant to take in the pure blood while three are to take the impure blood out. The two connections placed between the left atriums of the two hearts is what makes sure that blood can be shared. On the right-hand side, we have connected the Superior Vena Cava, Inferior Vena Cava and the Pulmonary Artery. Connecting them was the hardest task and that makes this operation very challenging”.

While most doctors abroad connected the pulmonary arteries of the two hearts using an artificial connector, in case of Vignesh the arteries have been connected directly.

The doctor also revealed that the weight, blood group and the age of the donor was similar to that of the recipient, stating that such details are often compared and analyzed before heart transplant.

Stating that only four centers in the world have the facilities and experts to perform this transplant, the doctor proudly declared that this was Asia’s first case of Heterotopic Heart Transplant.

He further added that this innovative Pulmonary Artery Anastomosis technique would be published in the International Journal of Heart and Transplantation.

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