Pune: The Poona Hospital cardiac surgery team led by Dr Vijay Natarajan has performed what could be termed as the rarest of rare ‘hole-in-the-heart’ cardiac surgery successfully on Tuesday.
A 44-year-old male patient was suffering from a rare condition referred to as the ‘Scimitar Syndrome’.
The ‘Scimitar Syndrome’ means an anomalous large vein from the entire right lung, going not to the left atrium upper chamber as it normally should but to the inferior vena cava, which is a large vein on the right side of the heart. This vein collects impure blood from the entire lower half of the body. In addition, the right lung was smaller than normal with an abnormal blood supply. This combination of anomalies is known as the Scimitar Syndrome.
Speaking about the condition, Dr Vijay Natarajan, Head of Cardiac Surgery, Poona Hospital, said that condition of the patient was rarest of rare as only 1 in 1,00,000 is diagnosed with this condition.
“Surgery was challenging because it involved a middle aged adult who basically has had this condition since birth. Complicating factors was the large hole in the heart and the greatly raised pressures in the lung. Scimitar Syndrome is usually present and is treated in infancy. What made this rarer was the adult presentation and the hole in the heart with the severe pulmonary hypertension, that is, increased pressure. Not many cases have been reported in world literature and fewer still in India,” said Dr Natrajan.
He said the surgery involved separating the anomalous vein through the right chest. “A hole in the heart, a large one in this case, between the two upper chambers in the heart with a consequent very high pressure in the lung circulation made the surgery further complicated. Also, the right lung was smaller in size and the heart was shifted to the right in addition to which the lung pressure was more than usual. The patient lived a very normal life and did not show any specific symptom at first,” said Natrajan.
He said the patient after the surgery is doing fine and was taken off the ventilator within 24 hours and shifted to the ward within 48 hours of the surgery. “The patient regularly moves around the ward and will be discharged from the hospital on July 3 as his post-surgery health is better now,” said Dr Natrajan.