Rishit, a three-month-old infant, was born again when Dr V Mohan Reddy, a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, operated on his heart at the Asian Heart Institute, Bandra.
His father, Prem Das (38), an executive in an automobile company in Muscat, and his mother Sarita (33) couldn’t believe their fortune.
Rishit was only one of the 28 cases Dr Reddy took up on his annual trip to the country. Dr Reddy, Chief of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, Lucile Packard Hospital, Stanford University was in the city along with his team last week to take up complicated open-heart surgeries.
Rishit was suffering from total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR), a congenital heart disease.
In simple terms, blood simply circulates to and from the lungs but not to the body. "Therefore, we have connected his veins to his left atrium," said Dr Reddy.
Renowned for taking up rare and challenging open-heart surgeries, Dr Reddy created history in 2005 by conducting an open-heart surgery involving an arterial switch on a three-week-old premature baby weighing 700 gm.
Surgeons called it ‘miraculous’ as the heart was about the ‘size of a grape and the tissues were like pieces of paper’.
The youngest infant he has operated on was two hours old and the smallest, about 640 gm.
Born in Andhra Pradesh, this surgeon believes Indian doctors have the expertise and infrastructure to match developed nations. "I think technology has largely reduced the risk attached to operating infants both in India and abroad. But here, only about 5 to 10 per cent of congenital heart problems among infants are diagnosed," he said.
Every year, Dr Reddy gets together a team of physicians through Stanford's international medical association to perform surgeries in various cities across India.
They also bring along the latest equipment — this year, it was a portable ventilator about the size of a laptop.
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