In an eight-hour-long surgery recently, Indian doctors performed a successful heart transplant on a two year and nine month old boy, making him the youngest in the country.
Gleb Kudriavtsev from Moscow, Russia, underwent the surgery on December 19 in Fortis Malar, Chennai. The boy, who weighed barely 7 kg, was suffering from restrictive cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart loses its capacity to relax with each beat that affects the blood pumping.
When the boy turned one, his mother, Neli Kudriavtsev, noticed his swollen abdomen. Doctors told her there was a slim possibility of his survival, and that a heart transplant was the only solution.
Neli took him to Germany for treatment but doctors refused to treat the boy because he had excessively high lung pressure that could have turned fatal. Neli then decided to come to India.
After admitting the patient in November last year, Fortis doctors were alerted of an organ donor in Bengaluru — a brain dead two-year-old boy whose parents were willing to donate his heart.
The heart was harvested and brought to Chennai. The surgery was carried out successfully on December 19, 2014. Due to high lung pressure, the new heart took about 10 days to adjust after which he recovered rapidly.
“Waiting for the heart of the right size in case of a child is the biggest challenge, said Dr Suresh Rao KG, HOD critical care and cardiac anaesthesia, Fortis Malar.