BENGALURU: A 67-year-old Nigerian suffering from a heart condition that required open heart surgery, approached city doctors to carry out a bloodless surgery on him. Being a Jehovah's Witness, a small community of people who do not accept blood or blood product transfusions, doctors had to take into consideration the patients’ faith and carry out the surgery accordingly.
“This was a challenge, as for any open heart surgery, blood transfusions or blood product transfusions is needed. The patient had atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeats) and was found to have Hepatitis B. His ejection fraction was only 30 percentage, whereas the normal range is between 60 and 70 percentage. However, we couldn’t go against their religious beliefs and had to go for a bloodless surgery,” said Dr Devananda NS, Consultant-Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road.
The patient was suffering from Aortic valve regurgitation, a condition where the heart’s aortic valve does not close tightly, resulting in the blood that is to be diffused to different parts of the body, being leaked back into it.
In this case, a Bio-Bentall Operation was carried out. This involves the graft replacement of the aortic valve, using animal tissue. The eight-hour-long complex surgery, without any blood surgery, was performed successfully. The doctor says this is the first such surgery being carried out on a Jevovah Witness patient.