Parvez suffered from two leaky valves that left him extremely short of breath and exhausted. Over time his capacity to exercise reduced such that he would spend better part of the day lying in bed. Twice he came to Delhi from his native place to seek a surgery, but by then he had developed further complications. Now his liver as well as the spleen were swollen due to back-pressure from the heart and the number of platelets (essential for blood clotting after surgery) in his blood had dropped perilously. Heart Surgery can cause a lot of bleeding, he anyway required a somewhat complicated surgical procedure; low platelet counts compounded the bleeding risk further.
However, here was a patient going from pillar to post trying to get his life back and suffering endlessly without hope for over 2 years. When he came over to me, we looked at every possible way of making his operation safe; but still came up with a rather high risk proposition. The chances of him surviving this life saving operation were only 90%.
Remember that despite the complicated nature of operations that I perform including aortic surgery, pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, HOCM, Mitral Valve repair, Heart Transplant, Ventricular Assist Device, complications after massive heart attacks etc. the average risk to life in my every day practice is only 0.4%. a 10% risk therefore is a 25 fold increase from my average.
Incredulously the patient and his brother were overjoyed to hear a 10% risk. I realised soon that other surgeons had mentioned them 50% -80% chances of not surviving. We soon performed his operation, and controlled the bleeding without any difficulty and he did well after a Double Valve Replacement.
He came to see me recently, he is in perfect health and running his business selling shoes in his hometown. His blood parameters are checked regularly and he calls up for advice if they are off range.
“My son wanted me to carry him around town on my shoulder; I wanted to take my wife out for a movie once in a while and I could see that she wanted to go out for a ride on my motorcycle; but before surgery it was impossible.”
**The best part of life after surgery Parvez says is feeling energetic and having the ability to carry his son on his shoulders and his wife out for a movie on the motorcycle.**