'Bloodless’ heart surgery performed

A team of cardiac surgeons at the Billroth Hospitals successfully performed a ‘bloodless heart surgery’ on a patient.

Published: 08th January 2009 03:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2012 09:07 PM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: A team of cardiac surgeons at the Billroth Hospitals successfully performed a ‘bloodless heart surgery’ on a patient, who refused to accept blood transfusion, as it was against his religious belief.

Chief Cardiac surgeon Dr S Thiagarajamurthy, who headed the team, told reporters here on Wednesday that Thirumalachari (72) underwent an aortic valve replacement procedure and coronary artery bypass surgery without undergoing a blood transfusion process.

The patient refused to undergo blood transfusion as he belonged to a Christian sect called Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Normally, a heart surgery is not done without blood transfusion.

Dr Thiagarajamurthy said the coronary artery bypass surgery was done on the beating heart before the patient’s circulation was taken over by the heart lung machine.

After the heart is stopped, the aorta the main blood carrying tube is opened and the faulty valve is excised. Sutures and a tissue valve are placed and tied all around.

Throughout the procedure, the blood from the patient was kept in an advanced medical device and circulated back into the patient’s body once the surgery was over.

Claiming that the rare surgery was “done for the first time in the country,” Dr Thiagarajamurthy said it had the potential to prevent blood borne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B as there was no blood transfusion involved.

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