A cricket ball-sized swelling in his aorta- the largest blood artery - nearly cost 63-year old Lalbaug resident Jethalal Gala his life.
Last month, doctors at the Asian Heart Institute conducted a 12-hour surgery to remove the swelling, giving him a new lease of life. Gala’s aorta, which should have ideally been around 2.5cm in diameter, had inflated to 11cm. Doctors said that when the aorta dilates beyond 5cm, there is a high chance of rupture. At 11cm, as many as 95% of the patients die.
While performing the surgery on June 12, the doctors had to stop the blood circulation to Gala’s brain. “This made the patient technically dead and gave us about 45 minutes to operate,” said Dr Ramakanta Panda, who operated on Gala.
“The ballooned artery was eroding his airway and any delay would have ruptured his windpipe too,” he said.
Doctors replaced the inflated artery with a synthetic tube, bringing it back to its normal size. If the inflated aorta ruptures, the patient can either suffer from a paralytic attack or die suddenly, doctors said.
“He leads a healthy and an active lifestyle. When he coughed blood last month, we took him to the local doctor who advised on a CT scan,” said Gala’s son, Jitesh.
The CT scan helped detect the inflation. “Doctors advised on surgery immediately, as a delay could have been fatal. It was like a time bomb ticking,” said Jitesh.
Advanced age and high blood pressure could be the trigger for such an aneurysm that can be avoided by maintaining an optimum level of blood pressure and undergoing regular health check-ups, doctors informed.