Complex heart surgery performed on woman weighing just 35 kilo by Asian Heart doctors

Dr Ramakanta Panda said this is one of the most challenging surgeries; as there was a 90 per cent risk as the heart's pumping capacity was 25 per cent only

(Left to right)Dr Pradyot Kumar Rath with patient Asha Phatak, Dr Ramakanta Panda and Dr Vijay D'Silva.
(Left to right)Dr Pradyot Kumar Rath with patient Asha Phatak, Dr Ramakanta Panda and Dr Vijay D’Silva.

A 69-year-old Mumbai woman weighing 35kg got a new lease of life after she underwent a successful complex valve replacement and bypass surgery at Asian Heart Institute (AHI).

Renowned Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgeon and Padma Bhushan Dr Ramakanta Panda operated on Asha Phatak, a retired bank manager. However, when Phatak had first approached Panda, he had denied operating on her.

Panda said, “When Phatak came to the hospital, I refused to operate on her at first as her heart pumping was very weak with only 20% to 25% pumping. She also needed two operations, a bypass and an aortic valve replacement. Besides this, she was very fragile and weighed only 35kg.”

Considering these factors, the operation was highly complex and risky and Panda thought that Phatak would not be able to tolerate stress of surgeries and would succumb.

“It was a 10-hour-long surgery and before the surgery, she was admitted for 19 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Three doctors and I performed the bypass surgery with beating heart technique and part surgery was performed with the help of a heart lung machine. After bypass, her heart was stopped to replace narrowed valve with new one,” informed Panda.

He said this was one of the most challenging surgeries, as it had 90 per cent risk with heart pumping at only 25% .

Asha Phatak, who has now recovery successfuly post the operation
Asha Phatak, who has successful recovered since the operation

In November, last year, Phatak suddenly suffered congestive heart failure and after an angioplasty report she was diagnosed with two major blockages in her heart.

Phatak said, “In 2014, I weighed 60kg, was fit and healthy. In 2015, after my stomach operation, my health started deteriorating and my weight reduced to 30kg. When I developed two major blockages, I did not lose hope and I asked doctors to operate on me. My daughter supported my decision too. I was very confident of the doctors at the hospital.”

Post operation, Phatak was put on ventilation for 41 days in ICU.

Dr Vijay Silva, Director of Medical Affairs and Critical Care at AHI, said, “Phatak’s positive attitude towards life contributed immensely in her speedy recovery.”

Panda said he has operated on over 3,500 high-risk surgeries, but Phatak was the bravest of all the patients.

“Of all the surgeries, she is the bravest patient I have met. Every time I met her before operation and after the operation, she always waved and greeted me with a thumbs-up,” said Panda.