A large number of world class hospitals in India now routinely conduct Keyhole cardiac surgery to correct congenital defects in Children with excellent outcomes at a very low cost compared to the Western world. Often the children suffering from congenital defects are unaware of the problem till they suffer from recurrent symptoms of giddiness, weight loss and fatigue.
A thorough examination by Pediatric Cardiologist reveals problems like a hole in the septum that divided the upper chambers (atria) of the heart. Atrial septal defect as it is medically known results in mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood causing the sufferer to remain perpetually in a state of low oxygen. This results in fatigue, giddiness and loss of breath.
Instead of going in for a traditional open heart surgery which requires the breast bone (sternum) to be cut open to access the heart, the cardiothoracic team of doctors now decide to go in for a minimally invasive surgery which required just a small incision in the sternum to reach the heart. A laparoscope which has a camera is introduced first to get the real picture of the inside of the heart. Small instruments specially used for this surgery are then introduced to stitch up the 5 cm defect using a patch. The patient is put on heart lung machine for a short time when the heart is stopped the right chamber emptied of blood. The heart function is resumed as soon as the defect was stitched up.
The advantages of a minimally invasive surgery outweigh the traditional open heart surgery. The former requires less blood transfusion during surgery, lesser trauma to surrounding structures, faster recovery and resumption of daily activities including lifting weights. The surgery time was just 3.5 hours. As opposed to this a conventional open heart surgery would require 4-6 units of blood transfusion, 5- 6 hours in the operation theatre, slow recovery time as more surrounding structures are cut during surgery and almost 6 months of no heavy work or weight lifting.
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