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Five Year Old Treated for Complex Congenital Heart Disease at Delhi Hospital

In Health
February 06, 2019

Five-year-old Moe’s parents never thought that they will have to revisit India for the treatment of their little one.

However, it was Dr Muthu Jothi, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, who, along with his team came to their rescue by successfully treating their child.
Moe, a resident of Myanmar had a big hole in his heart with a leaking valve on the left side of the heart since the time of his birth. The same was treated 2.5 years back after which he recovered very quickly and returned back to his country.

However, last year in September he suffered from high fever again because of infection on the mitral valve and high pressure in the lungs. Dr Muthu Jothi who treated him said that while he had operated Moe around two and half years back and the child had returned back home, his health deteriorated last September when doctors found that his repaired mitral valve had become infected.

He went on to add, “Post investigation by the doctors in Myanmar, it was found that the repaired mitral valve was severely infected. After consulting with us, local cardiologists gave him intravenous antibiotics for six weeks to stabilise his infection and to prevent it from spreading further. This made him well enough to travel to India and for this the support that we got from doctors in Myanmar is really applaudable.”

Dr Jothi went on to add that when Moe came to the hospital in December last year his heart was grossly enlarged. There was a severe leak in the mitral valve (left side of the heart). The right side of the heart was dilated as well and there was a leakage in the tricuspid valve (right side of the heart) too.

“The only option left was to replace the left-sided valve and repair the right one. This surgery involved high risk and this was well explained to Moe’s parents also,” he added.

Talking about the complexity of the surgery, Dr Jothi elaborated, “His heart was so enlarged that it was right below the sternum, or the chest bone. To reopen the chest bone we used an electric saw and there was a huge risk that the saw may hit the heart because it was hugely dilated.”

The surgeon went on to explain that it was for the very first time that they did a bypass in a small baby by cannulating the groin blood vessels and that the baby was connected to the heart-lung machine to reduce the size of the heart and to open the chest.

“To our surprise, the heart was still badly stuck to the back of the sternum and it took us almost two hours just to open the chest without injuring the heart. There were areas where the heart was stuck to the under surface of the bone and using very fine knife we had to shave off the heart from the under surface of the sternum and then had to dissect out all the heart tissues. We replaced the valve which was grossly infected and leaking with a prosthetic valve, and we also repaired the right side of the valve,” he said.

The surgery took doctors almost eight to ten hours. Moe was on heavy medications to control the heart rate and was on a ventilator for nearly a week. But now, after staying in the hospital for another week, the child’s condition has improved.

Moe’s father Aungmyowin said, “I am really thankful to Dr Muthu Jothi who once again saved my child. Doctors in Myanmar told me that my child has severe infection in heart and he needs to be operated urgently. I got in touch with Dr Jothi who had earlier operated on Moe. He told me that he needs to undergo a heart surgery again but it will involve very high risk. I had full confidence in him and knew that only he could save my child.”

The child needs to be on medication for at least six more months and will be monitored on a regular basis.