Bangalore doctors perform Asia's first Artificial Heart Transplant

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bangalore doctors perform Asia's first Artificial Heart Transplant

Bangalore April 9, 2008: The Doctors of Narayana Hrudayalaya at Bangalore have achieved a rare feat today in what it claimed to have performed Asia's first artificial heart transplant on a Fifty four-year-old man.

Venkata Krishnaiah, a field engineer with KPTCL had massive heart attack in 2003 and despite of bypass surgeries he was unable to lead a healthy life and had to take a voluntary retirement. Mr. Krishnaiah was also a diabetic and was the sole breadwinner of the family of four. He was operated a fortnight ago; "I was hardly able to walk 20 steps but now I can comfortably walk 400 steps without any problems and even climb stairs. I am planning to go back to work now," he said addressing the presspersons here in the presence of Dr T R Rajesh and Dr. R Bhagirath, of Narayana Hrudayalaya.

The Team with the PatientPatient Venkata Krishnaiah with Doctors who operated him - Dr. Bagirath and Dr T R Rajesh

Chairman of the hospital Dr Devi Shetty informed that, Narayana Hrudayalaya upon learning the artificial heart transplants being successfully performed at the University of Minnesota, had sent its doctors T R Rajesh and R Bhagirath to US for training and they returned after a three-month training mastering the surgery techniques to operate on their first patient Mr. Krishnaiah.

The four hours surgery was performed by a team of doctors lead by Dr Bagirath R and Dr T R Rajesh at Narayana Hrudayalaya, under the guidance of their counterparts of University of Minnesota, USA and implanted this life saving device which costs nearly Rs 45 lakh, including 35 lakhs for the device and 10 lakhs for the procedure, which was sponsored by Narayana Hrudayalaya.

The device is being manufactured by an Australian based company and is a new third generation implantable blood pump primarily designed as an alternative to heart transplantation to people with heart failure. We want to perform this surgery on those who are ready to bear the gadget cost. Hospital charges would be waived," Dr. Shetty said.

Heart transplantation is limited by availability of donors and hence the viable alternative is implantation of a mechanical device LVAD (Left ventricular Assist Device ), said Dr Rajesh T R, Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgeon. This was 221st such surgery worldwide and first of its kind in Asia, he said.

In India, about 20 million patients suffer from heart failure, a number that is increasing by two million annually. About 20% of these patients die each year without aid. Patients with end-stage heart failure have limited options - heart transplant or use of ventricular assist devices (VADs).

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