A 19-year-old unmarried daughter of a daily wage labourer from North Chennai, who underwent a heart valve replacement surgery that normally leaves a large post-operative scar, can now carry on with life without having to worry about it.
Thanks to doctors at the Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital, who performed a highly advanced minimal access procedure to replace one of her heart valves, the girl now has no visible scar on her chest.
A team of doctors from the department of cardiothoracic surgery performed a minimally invasive procedure to replace of the girl’s heart valve (mitral valve) that controls oxygenated blood flow from the lungs to the heart, and from there to other parts of the body. Conventionally, this procedure is done through sternotomy (cutting the sternum or breast bone) which is a tedious process and one that leaves patients with a large scar on the chest.
“We have now procured the latest equipment to do valve replacement surgeries through the minimally invasive approach. We just make a 5-6 cm incision on the side and below the chest. This is the first case we operated on in the department through the minimally invasive method,” said Professor Dr A Sivaraman, who headed the surgical team. “The hospital is also now planning to procure equipment for endoscopic procedures to perform other minimal access surgeries.”
“This girl does need not to worry about a big scar. It just like cosmetic treatment, nobody would recognise that she has undergone heart surgery,” said Dr Ponnambalam, who headed the anaesthesia team.
The post-recovery period for the minimally invasive procedure is at least one week, as opposed to a minimum of about 10 days for the conventional method.