81-year-old Cancer Survivor Gets Cow's Valve Inside Heart Valve

Published: 16th July 2015 04:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2015 08:19 AM   |  A+A-

81-yr-old Cancer

CHENNAI:  Doctors successfully implanted a valve inside a leaking heart-valve that was implanted in 2004 in the heart of an 81-year-old cancer patient through a catheter in the groin of the patient. Despite the patient being weakened by radiation and chemotherapy and the doctors calling the procedure a “long shot”, the patient is alive and on the way to being well.

Alluri Seethama’s  valve in her heart, implanted 11 years ago, began failing. The original valve had narrowed over the years and her blood pressure was not healthy. Surgery in her condition was not an option. 

After assessing her condition, doctors at Frontier Lifeline Hospital placed the new bioprosthetic heart valve inside the old heart-valve eleven years ago.

Explaining the process, Dr Rajaram Anantharaman, senior consultant cardiologist, who performed the procedure said, “the patient was on chemotherapy and radiotherapy because of breast cancer.” For this kind of high-risk patients and those who are not suitable for open-heart surgery, this is an alternative procedure.

She was recurrently admitted for heart failure since March 2014 which further worsened her breathing ability. The ultrasound scan revealed narrowing of the previously placed bioprosthetic aortic valve with reduced heart-muscle functioning. So we hit on a procedure called ‘transcatheter aortic valve replacement’, where a small incision was made in her groin and through a blood vessel, the substitute valve made from cow’s heart-tissue along with a stent was taken to the leaking valve and fixed inside (the old valve).”

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