'Surgery a success'
Without the heart transplant, the 22-year-old was looking at barely two weeks of life, said Dr K R Balakrishnan, director of cardiac sciences at Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai, who was the transplant specialist flown to Mumbai for the path-breaking surgery yesterday.

Also read: It was like my own heart was brought to Mumbai, says surgeon

Heart transplant from Pune to Mumbai

“The recipient had been sick for the last few months and the right side of the heart had also failed. His overall parameters were poor due to congestion in his liver and in such a case, his survival chances were poor.

Luckily, we could get a donor in time. We have transplanted the heart for the recipient and it is pumping fine. We are hopeful that in the next few weeks, his liver congestion will come down,” he told mid-day.

He confirmed that the transplant was carried out successfully, and at 11 pm, the youth was wheeled out of the operation theatre to the ICU. “He is responding well to the treatment,” said Dr Balakrishnan.

The cost of such transplants usually goes over R25 lakh, including the air ambulance charges and surgical costs, he said, but added that the major problem was finding donor hearts.

“The problem today is that we have very limited cadaver donation in the country and across the world, while the number of patients with heart failure is going up gradually.”

- As told to Vinod Kumar Menon