Doctors at Gurgaon hospital implant a mechanical heart in a man

Gurgaon: Doctors at a city hospital implanted a 'mechanical heart' (a type of left ventricular assist device- LVAD) in a 29-year old man, giving him a new lease of life.

The cardiac surgery, as claimed by doctors of Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), is a first of its kind in North India, in which a device called "Heart Mate II" was implanted. This is third mechanical heart to be implanted in India, the first two being at Fortis Malar in Chennai, said doctors.

According to doctors, Rabeea Majhool started suffering from a mild respiratory infection which would have taken a usual course for recovery. But it took a fatal turn in case of Majhool, barely weeks before his nikah, back in Iraq. The infection spread from his lungs to his heart and within a fortnight Majhool was diagnosed with severe left ventricular dysfunction and doctors back home told him that without a heart transplant there was no hope.

With an extremely poor rate of cadaver donations internationally, Majhool would have never have made it to the list of awaiting recipients, said Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis. The human organ transplant law in India allows a foreign patient to receive a cadaveric organ only once the national list is exhausted.

"The technology acts as destination therapy for a patient who cannot find a donor heart or in patient where heart transplant is not possible. Post this procedure, there is a 90 per cent survival rate extending their lives for upto 10 years as against the survival rate in heart transplant patients which is estimated at only 50 per cent upto 10 years.

The device performs the function of the left ventricle of the heart and pumps the blood when the heart is too weak to do so, on its own," explained Dr Sandeep Attawar, Director and HOD, Cardio Thoracic Vascular Surgery (CTVS) Fortis.

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