A Surgeon Fascinated by the Beauty of the Beating Heart

Several successful heart transplantations in the state bear testimony to the dexterity of his scalpel-wielding hand.

Published: 23rd April 2014 10:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2014 10:14 AM   |  A+A-


Several successful heart transplantations in the state bear testimony to the dexterity of his scalpel-wielding hand.

Dr Jose Chacko Periyappuram, fascinated by the beauty of the beating heart, once dreamed of becoming the first cardiac surgeon to perform a heart transplant in the country. It was a near impossible dream as doctors in India had already started performing such surgeries.Years later in 2003, Dr Periyappuram became the first cardiac surgeon to perform a heart transplantation in the state. Recently, the surgeon, now credited with nine heart transplants, became the first surgeon to perform a successful heart re-transplant operation in the country.

According to him, though the state has started embracing a culture of organ donation, dearth of medical experts is still a problem.

He himself had to travel with the donor team to harvest the heart needed for transplantation, because of paucity of experts.

The transplantation has to be performed and the transplanted heart has to start beating four hours after harvesting, he said.

“If there are more experts, the doctor who undertakes the transplantation could stay at the hospital to prepare the patient for the operation, while the donor team reaches the hospital. Now, the preparation starts only after the donor team arrives, because the doctor should be there in case the patients suffers a cardiac arrest,” he said.

The life span of a heart transplant patient is comparatively low in India when compared to the West.

“In West if it is above 25 years, here we hardly get 10 to 11 years. The unhygienic situation prevailing here is a major issue. Extreme care should be taken to prevent the patient from getting infected,” he said.

Dr Periyappuram says absence of proper diagnosis of heart problems is another major issue. “They might go to general physicians and other doctors who would give medicines for asthma and chest infection,” he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kochi news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp