Coimbatore docs give man a second heart in rare surgery

The transplantion was done on a beating heart using the Direct Pulmonary Artery Anastomois technique on May 30 at Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital.

Published: 03rd June 2017 09:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2017 02:47 AM   |  A+A-

(File photo)


COIMBATORE: A city hospital has successfully performed a heteroptic heart transplant on a 45-year-old man, supposedly the first such procedure in Asia, as a result of which he now lives with two hearts.

The transplantion was done on a beating heart using the Direct Pulmonary Artery Anastomois technique on May 30 at Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital (KMCH), Dr Prasanth Vaijyanath, consultant cardio-thoracic surgeon said in a press release.

The man from Kerala had to undergo this procedure because of the high lung pressure, which did not enable him to undergo a normal heart transplant, he said adding that instead of having his old heart replaced with a new one, doctors connected the new (heart) to the old so that they could share the load.

Terming it as a "hard and demanding surgery," Vaijyanath said the patient's own heart (native heart) was only 10 per cent operative.

He said "it was destiny that the patient received the heart of a female donor which was smaller in size and was a perfect fit in the cavity. The operation was also genetically fascinating because, now the man will not only have the XY chromosome that all men have, but also will have the XX chromosome of a woman within him."

Explaining the functioning of the two hearts, the doctor said, "There are five connections between the two hearts. Two connections are meant to take in the pure blood while three are to take the impure blood out. The two connections placed between the left atriums of the two hearts is what makes sure that blood can be shared. Connecting them with the beating heart was the hardest task and that made this operation very challenging."

Stating that the weight, blood group and age of the donor was similar to that of the recipient, he said that such details are often compared and analysed before any heart transplant is done.

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