PATIENTS, ESPECIALLY children, suffering from congenital heart defects can take heart. The special procedure for treating ‘hole in the heart’––called ‘device closure of heart defects’–– is now available at Choithram Hospital and Research Centre.
Though the procedure is available in the hospital, the hospital authorities are yet to perform it.
A hole in the heart causes the deoxygenated blood from the ventricles to flow into the atri (the left chambers) and throughout the body. This hole can be closed with an amplatzar device. It’s a non-surgical method, in which the device is inserted in the body through veins in the thigh.
It is then pushed to the correct location using camera-carrying catheters and then an umbrella-shaped device is blown open to block the hole.
After honing his skills for last six years at speciality centres in bigger cities, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist Dr Alkesh Jain (MD, DM) has returned to his hometown and joined Choithram Hospital and Research Centre.
Dr Jain told Hindustan Times, “The symptom to know this problem in infants is very simple. For those with persistent cough and cold, all that the general practitioner has to do is to listen to the heart beat very carefully for that particular sound which is out of place.”
“Once identified, the doubt is confirmed with the help of echo-cardiograph (ultrasound of the heart). But not all children can be treated with this even after the fault is detected. The child should weigh at least 10 kilograms only after which the surgery can be performed,” Dr Jain who was earlier with the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad added.
Not just this, there are other parameters which increases the complications even though the procedure itself is not a complicated one. For instance, the hole in the heart can be closed only if it is on the wall between the two chambers. The patient has to be scanned for all these parameters and then only the doctors advice him to go ahead with the device closure method.
“Different ailments and morbidity make the difference in complications,” Dr Jain said adding, “that is one of the reasons why no device closures were carried out here earlier.”
The technique has a success rate of more than 90-95 per cent. And there are other advantages too. “No surgery means lesser related complications like infections. Also, the patient gets to go home quite early. Most important is that the patient does not carry any surgical scar for his life. It is particularly helpful in female cases,” he added.
But then, this is a costly affair. “The amplatzar device itself costs Rs 1.30 lakh. Clubbed with other expenses, which take the total cost beyond Rs 1.5 lakh in Indore. In the metros, it would cost much more as the hospitalisation cost would be more. The device cost remains the same everywhere.”
No other hospital in the City carries out this procedure. MY Hospital neither has provision for any surgery of heart nor is it equipped with facilities for such sophisticated procedures, hospital sources said.
Private hospitals carry out other cardiac surgeries but device closure of heart defect has not been carried out at any of the hospitals. CHL Apollo has a full-fledged cardiac catheterisation lab, which carries out all invasive cardiac procedures like coronary angiographies and balloon valvuloplasty among others, but even they have not gone for any device closure procedure.
“It is possible as we have all the set up here at Apollo. But then, we have not had any case as yet,” cardiac surgeon at the CHL Apollo Dr Manish Porwal said.