Rare Heart Birth Defect Operated At Government Hospital

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In a complicated 3-hour operation, a rare heart birth defect in a 1-year old child was successfully repaired at the Institute of Child Health, Chennai last week. The 'sandwich patch' technique used to repair the aorto-pulmonary window is a novel surgical approach, and has only been performed in a handful of centres worldwide.

In a complicated 3-hour operation, a rare heart birth defect in a 1-year old child was successfully repaired at the Institute of Child Health, Chennai last week.

The 'sandwich patch' technique used to repair the aorto-pulmonary window is a novel surgical approach, and has only been performed in a handful of centres worldwide.

Balamurugan was born with an abnormal connection between the two major arteries of the body - an Aorto-Pulmonary (AP) Window. This rare condition affects only 1 in every 1,00,000 children and causes lung blood pressure to rise very rapidly, making early surgery critical. Without treatment, the condition is fatal.

The paediatric cardiac surgical team of Dr.Moorthi, Dr.J.Sivakumar and Dr.Sivasubramanian, supported by a group of specialists headed by Dr.Suresh, Dr.Soundarapandian and Mr.Jagannathan, successfully carried out the complex operation, involving a period when the heart had to be stopped and supported on a heart-and-lung machine.

With a monthly income of under Rs.1,000 the family from a rural village in Sivagangai district in Tamil Nadu could not afford expensive treatment in private hospitals. All costs of treatment at the Institute of Child Health are borne by the State Government, making treatment accessible for every child born with a heart defect.

All kinds of heart operations, including complex repairs on critically ill infants and newborns like the Arterial Switch Operation have been carried out at the institute.

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