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Rare cardiac surgery performed on prematurely-born baby in Hyd

The Peadiatric Cardiology team at Apollo Hospital here has successfully performed a complex and rare cardiac surgery on a prematurely born baby suffering from Ebstein’s Anomaly – a critical congenital heart ailment.

“A team of doctors at Apollo Hospitals successfully treated a critical 11-day-old baby boy with a complex and rare cardiac surgery,” Dr Girish Warrier, Senior Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon told reporters today.

“It was a high-risk surgery performed for the first time in the country,” the doctors claimed.

The baby had a very abnormal right side heart valve (Tricuspid valve) called Ebstein’s Anomaly, where the valve is abnormal and leaks profusely. He also had atresia of pulmonary valve, which meant that no blood flow was going to his lung from the heart for oxygenation. This life-threatening abnormality was detected by the doctors at Apollo Hospitals when the baby was still in the womb through a fetal echocardiography, they said.

“Initially, the team put him on ventilator support soon after birth and hoped to manage him medically for a few months before the surgery could be planned. The surgery was especially challenging because of his deteriorating condition, tiny baby size, small size of the heart (no bigger than an adult thumb) and organs,” said Dr Girish Warrier, who led the team in performing the surgery.

After a detailed consultation with the family, the team decided to go ahead with surgery on September 14, since without surgery, the child would not have survived, they said.

The child had to be placed on cardiopulmonary bypass as preparatory to working inside the heart. Being only 1.2 Kg at birth and 11 days at the time of surgery, specially designed circuitry had to be used to place the child on bypass, the doctors said.

“Thereafter a shunt was created to provide reliable source of blood supply to the lungs for purification. The child tolerated the procedure well and was taken off the bypass machine and then shifted to the intensive care unit. He gradually recovered from the surgery and was shifted to the ward on the 14th post-operative day,” they said adding that additional challenges to his surgery were nutrition and infection control, but he is now recovering well.