Health & Diet

Kolkata Doctors Close Large Hole In Woman's Heart Without Open Heart Surgery

| March 29 , 2018 , 16:09 IST

Patient’s family was not eager for surgical closure. A surgical procedure could have ended up with associated scar and morbidity. Challenge was to find an effective alternative way out for the closure.

A 24-year old lady, a mother of two young kids, hailing from a middle-class family in Jharkhand had symptoms of easy fatigability and palpitation for the last few years. A year back, Selva Mohan (name changed on request), recalls that she started dragging herself to household work but after some time, she could not even hold her 4-months baby and carry other household chores. In such a scenario, her husband, who is into a decent job, got her evaluated locally. It was detected that Selva had a very large hole between the two upper chambers of the heart (in between the right and left atrium of the heart), known as the atrial septal defect (ASD) in medical terminology. Incidentally, Selva had no such complication until five years ago but slowly she could understand that she got tired easily experiencing the symptoms.

She was referred to Medica Superspecialty Hospital in Kolkata for further diagnosis and necessary treatment. Selva was very lean and weighed only 32 kgs.  On detailed evaluation including the trans-esophageal echocardiogram (TEE), it was diagnosed that she had a very large ASD. There were thin and deficient margins along with dilatation of right-sided chambers of the heart which was unarguably due to the volume overload. The large hole in the heart required early closure without any delay.

Generally, such large holes with deficient rims in the heart are closed by open heart surgery which requires prolonged hospital stay and large scar on the chest.

“The young lady and family members were not eager for surgical closure in view of possible difficulty in breast feeding of the young kid in post-operative period, associated scar and morbidity,” recall Dr. Anil Kumar Singhi, Senior Consultant Interventional Paediatric Cardiologist and Dr. Rana Rathor Roy, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Medica Superspecialty Hospital.

The whole task of closure with the device was more challenging with deficient rims of the hole. The Government of Jharkhand supported the procedure cost as Medica Superspecialty Hospital has a tie-up with the Government of Jharkhand.

The procedure was done with a special technique of balloon support of device deployment under fluoroscopic and transesophageal echocardiogram guidance in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. The procedure was done in around 90 minutes time. The device was successfully placed and she was extubated on the table.

Selva was shifted to the ward within few hours on the same day of the procedure. On the second day the doctors after re-examining confirmed that the hole was closed completely. On doctors’ recommendations, the lady was discharged on the second day of the procedure itself. “It was extremely difficult for the family to believe that the major cardiac intervention was done without any particular scar and on top of that, the patient was discharged on the next day of the procedure,” further elaborated the doctors.

Nowadays large holes with deficient rims can be closed without cut and scar in the chest with better results, fewer complications, faster patient recovery and lower healthcare costs. Regarding risks with this method, the doctors said: “Any invasive procedure has associated risk. We do the procedure in beating heart. The risks and complications are much less than surgical intervention.”