BENGALURU: A premature infant weighing 1.18kg underwent open-heart surgery — one with the lowest birthweight to do so in India — for a complex congenital heart disease in a hospital in Bengaluru.
Born at 30 weeks, he was found to have a congenital issue called Transposition of Great Arteries (TGA). This is a serious, rare heart problem in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed, which can lead to death if not corrected.
Essentially, the bad blood goes back into the body and good blood goes back to the lungs. Ahead of March 3, observed as World Birth Defects Day, doctors at Manipal Hospital successfully conducted an arterial switch operation.
“The mother delivered twins prematurely, of which one of them had TGA and was not breathing well. He also had blue baby syndrome, wherein the good blood is not circulated in the body,” said Dr Kavya Mallikarjun, Consultant, Paediatric Cardiology.
Dr Kavya said they observed him for over 10 days in the NICU, as each day gives him additional benefit of survival. “The lungs, kidneys and other organs are immature in a preterm baby. If we operate early, the chances of survival are less. We later conducted an arterial switch operation wherein the aorta is put back to the left ventricle and pulmonary artery is put back to the right ventricle,” Dr Kavya added.
Dr Devananda, Cardiac Surgery, Head & Consultant, Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery, Heart and Lung Transplant Surgery, said they waited so that the lungs become better and the size of the baby was a challenge. The team of doctors included Dr Venkatesh, Consultant, Neonatology and Paediatrics.
Post-operative care involved observing the baby in the cardiac ICU, putting him on a ventilator for eight days, shifting him to the NICU, putting him on a CPAP machine, then on to oxygen, before finally getting him off oxygen support. “He also developed narrowing of the aorta which had to be surgically addressed,” Dr Devananda added.