Hyderabad: 6-yr-old African girl gets new lease of life at KIMS

Hyderabad: A team of doctors at KIMS Hospitals, Secunderabad successfully performed a rare complex cardiac surgery called “Double Switch Operation” in a six-year-old girl from Sudan and gave her a new lease of life.

The 6-yr-old patient had a rare congenital heart disease called “Corrected transposition of great arteries” wherein the blood from the body comes to the heart in a reverse manner to both the upper chambers of the heart and goes out of the heart also in a reverse manner from both the major tubes called the aorta and pulmonary artery. In view of this, the major pumping chamber of the heart on the left side (left ventricle) will be weak because it is pumping blood to the lungs instead of the body.

Dr. Anil Kumar Dharmapuram, Senior Consultant Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon at KIMS Hospitals performed the Double Switch Operation on this girl. He says, “This is a very rare congenital disease and needs a close to following up along with great care. To achieve this correction the weak left ventricle must be trained over a period to improve its strength so that it will be capable of pumping blood to the entire body. Following this, the second stage of operation called Double Switch is performed.”

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“This operation is the most difficult surgery in the speciality of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. It is a day-long operation and involves advanced infrastructure along with surgical skills supported by a dedicated team effort,” he adds.  

This patient underwent the first stage of the operation one year ago called the Pulmonary Artery Band. To do this, a circular constricting band is placed in the pulmonary artery that is coming off from the left ventricle. This band will make the left ventricle work against resistance and trains it to be eligible for the second stage of the operation called the Double Switch.

After the first stage operation of Pulmonary Artery Banding last year, she was sent back to the treating doctor in Sudan and advised to do a careful follow up to assess the training of the left ventricle with appropriate parameters. As the left ventricle gets trained, the girl was sent back to KIMS for the completion of the Double Switch Operation.

In this operation, both the pathways in the heart (the incoming pathway and the outgoing pathway) must be switched to achieve the normal circulation.

After the marathon surgery, the girl recovered slowly and gradually in the postoperative ICU. The postoperative care in this operation needs a dedicated team with focus and clear understanding of the problem.

Fortunately, the girl recovered very well with an excellent outcome and was discharged from the hospital. Today, she is very happy and spending time and playing with her parents. All three of them are ready to travel back to Sudan. The family is very happy and excited that the girl has got a normally functioning heart that will enable her to lead a normal life.

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