KOCHI: Doctors at a private hospital in Kochi have saved the life of a 28-year-old woman from Kerala's Kannur by performing high-risk open-heart surgery. It was the second time in four years that the patient, Fausia, underwent open-heart surgery to replace two heart valves.
Six months after she underwent open-heart surgery for the first time, Fausia developed a severe continuous fever. She was diagnosed with endocarditis of artificial valves, the most dreaded condition, and stopped responding to the antibiotics and medicines.
"The condition of her health and heart deteriorated rapidly and subsequently, she developed severe breathing problems and body emaciation. Meanwhile, she also developed pneumonia and water accumulation in her lungs, which further complicated her condition. Though she was taken to many hospitals in the state and neighboring states, nobody was willing to operate on her," said a statement from Aster Medcity, where the surgery was conducted. The surgery was conducted by doctors led by Dr M K Moosa Kunhi, the associate consultant cardiac surgeon at Aster Medcity.
After evaluating her condition, Dr Kunhi decided to immediately perform open-heart surgery to save her life. But the biggest challenge faced by the medical team was the possibility of excessive bleeding during surgery. Fortunately, she did not have any such problems and her body tolerated the operation very well.
Dr Kunhi said that it took nearly 11 hours to complete the surgery. “We replaced her two heart valves for the second time and repaired the third one. It was very challenging to perform open-heart surgery when the patient had developed endocarditis, severe emaciation, pneumonia and gasping for breath,” he said.
He added that the patient also needed a brief period of ‘hypothermic circulatory arrest’, a highly complex technique of suspended animation, to remove infected blood clots from the superior vena cava (SVC), the largest vein in the body. She was kept under observation in the intensive care unit for about a week. She recovered well and has been discharged. The doctor added that the patient was found healthy in the follow-up tests.
Dr Kunhi commended the cooperation, dedication and determination of all the anesthesia doctors, headed by Dr Suresh G Nair, and all staff nurses to make the surgery successful.