In A Rare Surgery, Doctors Unclog 11-Year-Old’s Heart
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03 August 2010
By Durgesh Nandan Jha
New Delhi, India
In a pathbreaking cardiac surgery, doctors at a city hospital have successfully removed over 20gm of muscle bulge from the outlet of the heart of an 11–yearold boy. The bulge was obstructing the flow of blood from Ravi Ramola’s heart to other parts of the body due to which his physical growth was affected. Doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, who performed the surgery, said such an obstruction could even lead to sudden heart failure.
According to doctors, the treatment procedure – extended septal myectomy – applied to remove the muscle bulge in Ravi’s case was performed for the first time in India. ‘‘In the standard procedure for removal of muscle bulge, the resection is partial. But through this surgery we have been able to completely resect the muscle bulge. Now, Ravi can live a healthy life,’’ said Dr Sujay Shad, senior consultant cardiac surgeon, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where Ravi was referred from a hospital in his hometown in Uttarakhand.
‘‘Ravi complained of blood vomiting and dizziness. His physical growth was also restricted. We got to know that Ravi’s father was healthy but died due to a sudden heart failure at the age of 34 just two months ago. His uncle had also died due to a heart ailment. An echocardiography of the child revealed that a 20–gm muscle bulge in his heart was severely blocking blood flow on both sides of the mitral leaflet,’’ said Shad. If left untreated, the doctor added, the child could have died of heart failure.
Said senior cardiologist Rajat Mohan: ‘‘Commonly available treatment options, which include changing the mitral valve and alcohol septal ablation, do not offer a permanent solution. Some patients die due to recurrence of the muscle bulge. So, we opted for this complex surgery which is performed underneath the aortic valve by making incisions into the muscle and resecting the bulge from two to three points.’’ Earlier, a serving army officer had been treated using the same procedure at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital by a British surgeon during a medical education programme.
Ravi, who will return to his village Naili, says he wants to become a sportsman. ‘‘I love playing and want to become a cricketer like Dhoni,’’ he said.