Dubai: In a rare surgical procedure undertaken for the first time in the UAE, an accomplished Dubai heart surgeon conducted a beating heart surgery with simultaneous bypass surgeries in five arteries of a 38-year-old Dubai-based crane operator, who had only ten per cent heart pumping capacity.
Dr Girish Chandra Varma, consultant cardiac surgeon at NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Nahda, Dubai, led the surgical team that included Dr Sunil Shetty, specialist cardiac surgeon and clinical perfusionist, in conducting this surgery on December 7.
Recounting the unique case, Dr Varma said: “This young man, Jai Singh Yadav, an Indian expatriate and father of four, suffered from an extensive Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) that appeared to be hereditary. He was suffering from this condition for a long time, but in 2021 his condition deteriorated. He was in such a terrible shape that he could not walk ten steps without feeling breathless and a pain in his chest.
A severe case of coronary artery disease
Dr Varma continued: “In October, he was admitted to our hospital where his conditioned worsened and he subsequently suffered a heart attack. Upon investigation, that included an angiogram and 2-D echocardiogram, it was concluded that Yadav suffered from multiple blocks in all the major arteries in his heart and there was danger of a heart failure.”
The surgeons then planned a proper interventional strategy for him as his heart required to be stabilised first. For a month, the patient was put on heart medication to support the organ, was provided diuretic support to help his body get rid of water retention as 10 per cent pumping capacity meant the heart was under-performing. “Usually, a healthy heart can have about 80 per cent pumping capacity. We also put him on restricted liquid intake,” explained Dr Varma.
A beating heart surgery
Dr Varma specialises in beating heart surgery, which implies that the surgery is conducted even as the patient’s own heart is allowed to function throughout the procedure. This results in better outcome and quicker recovery time, Dr Varma explained.
I feel like I am a new person now. Prior to the surgery, I was suffering from terrible pain and could not take a single step without feeling breathless. But the pain has now disappeared, I am breathing well and have already started following my exercise and physiotherapy schedule.
Simultaneous bypass surgeries
Since there were multiple blockages, Dr Varma and his team conducted five simultaneous artery bypasses and performed a re-boring procedure in two arteries. This ensured the patient had a brand new set of five arteries and two existing arteries were totally cleared and de-clogged. While surgeons have performed triple and quadruple bypass surgeries, conducting five simultaneous bypasses in a single surgical procedure was a first for the UAE, said Dr Varma. Within a couple after the surgery, the patient’s heart pumping capacity jumped from 10 to 30 per cent and he was discharged last week. He is reportedly doing well.
'Feels like I am born again'
Speaking to Gulf News, Yadav said: “I feel like I am a new person now. Prior to the surgery, I was suffering from terrible pain and could not take a single step without feeling breathless. Although I am 38 years old, I felt like I was too old. My pain has disappeared, I am breathing well and have already started following my exercise and physiotherapy schedule.”
Yadav, who is currently on medical leave, intends to get back to his job, as he is the sole breadwinner of his family. I am thankful to God that I reached the hospital in time and I can now go back to working again,” he added.
Michael Davis, CEO of NMC Healthcare, said: “The story of Jai Singh Yadav is meaningful in more ways than one. Here is a young man, non-smoker, no medical history and leading a healthy life and yet he suffered a sudden and massive heart attack. Luckily, the cardiac lab and heart surgeon were accessible to him and were able to salvage his heart and save his life. A comprehensive preventive health check-up is the only way to avoid such an incident.”
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What is Beating Heart Surgery?
Beating Heart or Off-Pump Surgery ensures that the patient undergoes a heart surgery while his or her heart is continuing to beat.
In more than 70 per cent heart surgeries, patients are hooked on to a heart-lung machine that takes over the function of the heart. However, in this case, the surgeons use a tissue stabilising system to immobilise the section of the heart they need to operate on, even as the rest of the heart continues to perform its normal pumping action.