50 year old Ravinder came to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital with breathing difficulty. He was diagnosed with cardiogenic shock, heart failure and severe chest congestion. Despite powerful medications to improve heart function, his blood pressure remained between only 70–80. His heart was barely working at 15% of its normal capacity.
The patient was then referred to me for a possible salvage operation. He was in a very precarious situation, he wouldn’t survive a week without an operation. The only possible solution was to implant an artificial heart device also called Ventricular Assist Device, or VAD, to completely take over the functions of his faltering heart. Adding to the inherently complex scenario of using an artificial device, the patient also required surgery on 2 of his heart valves.
This particular model of the Ventricular Assist Device is special, in that it uses complex magnetic levitation to keep the impeller of the pump stable. The magnetic fields also power the rotation of the pump (anywhere between 2000 – 5000 rpm). This is absolute pinnacle of VAD efficiency.
The operation was conducted last Friday by a combined effort of a team of over 25 healthcare specialists, led by me for a grand total of 12 hours. The artificial heart device had completely taken over the functions of Ravinder’s heart for the first 4 days and all that while it worked perfectly, supplying blood to all organs of the body and keeping them healthy. On the 5th day his rested heart slowly began to regain its strength.
“We take for granted that our hearts will never tire, nor fatigue. In Ravinder’s case, his heart did just that; and all his heart needed, was some rest.”
6 days later, the VAD was surgically removed, today Ravinder is recovering in Hospital, and he should be fit for discharge in a few days time. I have worked intensively on extremely complex heart failure patients, many are those who have been rejected an operation in centres elsewhere, and are in desperate need for treatment.
The results of our centre are unparalleled, the complexities of our cases are unrivalled and we are the only private Center in north India that does these kind of operations, with this much success. I am very optimistic about the future possibilities of using artificial devices and heart transplants to treat otherwise nigh incurable patients.
Story featured on the Times of India.