Pune: Docs successfully perform complicated heart surgery, save man’s life

A 38-year-old IT professional undergoes a complex heart transplant and receives a heart from a 25-year-old, who met with a road accident and was declared brain dead. It was the first heart transplant at the Sahyadri Hospitals. The doctor says the case had many technical issues which had to be dealt with

A 38-year-old IT professional from Pune underwent a complex heart transplant performed at Sahyadri Super Speciality Hospital Deccan around two weeks ago. The heart, for this transplant, was transported from Sassoon Hospital to Sahyadri Hospital.

The donor, a 25-year-old, a native of Ambejogai, was working in Pune. He met with a road accident near Khed Shivapura and was declared brain dead, and his parents consented for the transplant. It was the first heart transplant of the Sahyadri Hospitals.

Dr Manoj Durairaj, a Heart Transplant surgeon, and Programme Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation at Sahyadri Hospitals led the transplant team. The team included Heart Transplant Anaesthetists, Dr Shantanu Shastri, Dr Suhas Sonawane, Cardiac Surgeons. Dr R. Kaushish and Dr Sandeep Tadas, Cardiologists, Dr Palshikar, Dr Palimkar, and Dr Bhise.

Detailing about the case, Dr Manoj said, “The patient was diagnosed with Restrictive Cardiomyopathy since he was in 10th grade. He had a history of pericardial effusion (fluid in the sac surrounding the heart) which had to be removed. Heart Transplant was the only option, and he was on the waiting list for a suitable donor.”

He added, “In this case, there were many technical issues, including a huge clot in the heart’s right chamber measuring 7cm, an adherent heart to the chest wall due to previous removal of pericardial fluid, thickened heart walls which were calcified due to the disease process making the anastomoses or areas where tissues are joined prone to bleeding and breakdown while suturing.”

He further said, “Moreover, the Lung pressures were on a higher side due to severe left heart weakness. Since the recipient’s heart was very dilated, there was a mismatch in the heart’s size as well for all the chambers and vessels which needed to be connected. The patient was on anticoagulant due to the clot in the heart.”

He stated, “Restrictive Cardiomyopathy (RCM) is a rare form of heart muscle disease that is characterized by restrictive filling of the ventricles. In this disease, the contractile function (squeeze) of the heart and wall thicknesses are usually normal, but the relaxation or filling phase of the heart is abnormal. It is considered the most difficult subset for transplant due to the involvement of other organs, especially, liver and kidney. We are happy that the patient is doing fine, and can get back to routine in a few days.”

“The transplant was successful, and the patient was under observation in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). While organ donation awareness is increasing, we are making sure that finances are never a deterrent so that all sections of the society can benefit from a transplant. We also would like to salute the exemplary work that ZTCC team, led by Arti Gokhale, is doing to coordinate the entire process, and help those in need,” added Dr Durairaj.