SIMS Hospital, a leading multi-speciality hospital in Chennai, has recently saved the life of a 35-year old Oman citizen by correcting three complex anomalies of his aorta in a single-stage, marathon surgery. The patient was airlifted from Oman in an emergency condition, after he developed intense chest pain all of a sudden.
Aorta is the main artery that carries blood away from the heart to other parts of the body. In the patient, the aorta had a tear of the ascending part (acute Type-A dissection), leakage in the aortic valve, and a tear in the lower region of the descending part.
While correcting Type-A dissection itself is a huge surgical challenge, the medical team at SIMS Hospital went ahead treating it as well as the other two anomalies, in a single-stage surgery that lasted for about eight hours, even when the patient was admitted in an emergency condition. The surgery was uneventful and the patient is doing well.
Such complex surgical interventions are performed only in a few elite medical institutes in the world. Even then, when patients are diagnosed with multiple aortic conditions, most hospitals perform surgeries only in multiple stages: a surgery to rectify a major anomaly first, and then giving 1 or 2 years of space to tackle other conditions. The multi-stage surgeries over years leave the patient and family in a state of fear and anxiety due to the persistent risk of interim mortality. However, the single-stage correction of all the problems gives the patient confidence to live a longer and happy life.
The surgery was done by a medical team headed by Dr. V. V. Bashi, Director, Institute of Cardiac & Aortic Disorders, SIMS Hospital. Other specialists in the team were: Dr. Aju Jacob, Chief Anesthetist, Dr. A. Mohammed Idhrees, Consultant, Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Arun Kumar, Anesthetist, and Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, Cardiac Surgeon.
Commenting about the outstanding surgical feat, Mr. Ravi Pachamoothoo, Chairman, SRM Group, which runs SIMS Hospital, said, “I am quite happy to note that our medical expertise could save the life of a foreign patient, and it is being acknowledged internationally. Over the past six years, we were able to build the trust of people across the borders so much so that people seek us first for emergency surgeries. I would like to thank and congratulate Dr. V. V. Bashi for establishing such a formidable reputation for himself and the hospital for niche lifesaving procedures like aortic surgeries.”
In his comments about the complexity involved in the surgery, Dr. V. V. Bashi said, “The patient developed severe chest pain that started radiating to the back and abdomen. He was airlifted from Oman to our hospital. Upon detailed investigations, we diagnosed him with acute Type A dissection along with a leaking aortic valve and a tear in the lower end of the descending aorta. It was a life-threatening condition for the patient that required an emergency surgery. The patient was then rushed-in for surgery within half an hour.
To begin with, it is quite a challenge to detect aortic conditions preemptively and it calls for the right diagnostic approach to detect three different conditions in one case. The major challenge for us was to carry-out all surgical corrections in a single session, that too on an emergency basis. The patient underwent successful total corrective replacement of the entire diseased aorta with the repair of the aortic valve and had an uneventful recovery – thanks to our team’s superior surgical skills, the latest technology and availability of the modern hybrid graft (Thoraflex Graft) with us.”
In India, approximately 3 – 4 lakh people suffer from various types of aortic disorders every year, out of which only around 1000 people are getting treated. If the disease can be diagnosed early most of the patients can be treated successfully, with success rate of more than 95%. Very few centers in our country are performing aortic surgeries in large numbers.
SIMS Hospital had launched India’s first exclusive centre for aortic diseases in 2019 to bring focused approach on treatment and management of aorta. Dr. Bashi, head of the centre, and his team have performed more than 1,600 aortic surgeries, among the largest for a team from any country. The centre also works towards creating awareness about various aspects of the conditions and risk factors, and advanced treatment modalities.