Cardio vascular thoracic surgeon Dr Ramakant Panda was on Monday selected for the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian honour.
The 54-year-old doctor had successfully performed a bypass surgery on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a year ago.
The doctor was busy saving lives in the operation theatre at the Asian Heart Institute in the Bandra-Kurla Complex till late on Monday evening, leaving his secretary to answer the congratulatory calls.
“Service to patients is the primary function of every doctor and it is very humbling to get recognised for it,” said Dr Panda.
An AIIMS alumnus, Dr Panda, who is the vice-chairman of Asian Heart Institute, has performed more than 11,000 bypass surgeries, 700 revision bypass surgeries and 1,500 high-risk surgeries.
Dr Panda is considered the pioneer of “off-pump” bypass surgery (performed on a beating heart) and was among the first surgeons in India to introduce the concept of “total arterial revascularisation”, wherein an artery from the patient’s leg or wrist is grafted to the coronary arteries to bypass the blocked portions.
He had received a national award for being among the highest taxpayers in 1994-95 and 1998-99.
Dr Panda has one of the safest records in the world with a mortality rate of less than 0.5 per cent in coronary bypass surgeries.