HIV patient successfully undergoes high risk cardiac surgery

Mysuru: An HIV patient has successfully undergone a high risk cardiac surgery at the Columbia Asia Hospital in Mysuru.

It was nothing short of a miracle. It was indeed the end of tough days for Suresh (name changed), a painter, when he walked into Columbia Asia Hospital with severe chest pain and breathlessness. Although it seemed like a routine case, it turned into an overwhelmingly difficult surgery that was tackled brilliantly with expert medical talent and care. Suresh went home a happy man in just five days.

Cardiologists Dr. Keshavamurthy and Dr. Sasirekha, realised that this patient was troubled by some chronic health problems that could prove disastrous if they didn’t act immediately. Suresh’s medical investigations revealed that he had a severe leak in his aortic valve with an enlargement of the aorta (the main blood vessel that carries pure blood from the left side of the heart). Further tests like trans-esophageal Echo CT aortogram, revealed the need for an immediate replacement of the aortic valve along with ascending aorta, the major vessel which had dilated and dissected.

Unfortunately, he was also HIV-positive and so had to be subjected to further tests like CD4 count. This was not just a distressing situation but also a challenging one, as HIV-positive patients have low immunity and are vulnerable to infections. In addition, recovery and healing was an uphill process for such patients. This meant that a specialist had to decide if he was fit to undergo a major cardiac surgery.

He was immediately referred to Dr. Upendra Shenoy, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon, who led the delicate surgery involving the replacement of both the aortic valve and the ascending aorta and re-implantation of coronary arteries (Bentall procedure). Doctors also mentioned that cardiac surgeries, especially those like this one involving the aorta, have a large chance of bleeding; in addition, the dilated and dissected aorta is very fragile.

Suresh being an HIV-positive patient, made it an indomitable task for the operating team. The post-operative care team too, had to be extremely careful to avoid any needle stick injury. Thankfully, Suresh was in good hands and required just one unit of blood transfusion. Moreover, he was discharged from the hospital on the fifth day after surgery which was a phenomenal achievement.

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