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Delhi doctors fix infant's heart by perventricular device closure of muscular VSD

Sapna Dogra - New Delhi

Max Devki Devi Heart and Vascular Institute have brought hope for children with holes in the heart by conducting India's first perventricular device closure of muscular VSD procedure on a beating heart to close the hole. The team led by Dr Anil Bhan, director, cardiac surgery, had two paediatric cardiologists and two paediatric anaesthesiologists. The procedure was succesfully performed on seven-month-old baby Nitika weighing only 4 kg.

According to Dr Viresh Mahajan, paediatric cardiologist, the operation was unique as it was a hybrid procedure where both cardiologists and surgeons are involved. Also, this was a non-surgical operation which did not utilise any blood products, there was no chance of eruption of any side effects.

Dr Mahajan claims that this is the first child in India to undergo this intervention by team comprising only Indian cardiologists. Earlier two cases were done on much older children in Bangalore by foreign doctors.

Nitika was brought to the hospital with a history of recurrent chest infections needing frequent hospitalisation, feeding difficulty and failure to gain weight and was found to be suffering from muscular ventricular septal defect with severe pulmonary arterial hypertension, known as a large hole in heart.

Said Dr Munesh Tomar, who was also part of the team that did the hybrid procedure on the baby, "This type of defect is conventionally closed by open-heart surgery. However, open-heart surgery is associated with risks of putting the patient on a heart lung machine and it is technical difficulty in closing such holes." Hence, the doctors decided to do a combined surgical and non-surgical intervention (hybrid procedure) procedure on beating heart without putting the patient on a heart lung machine and close the hole on the operation table by an umbrella like device.

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