Indian Hospital Succeeds In World’s Largest Artificial Pulmonary Valve Without Surgery

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oi-Amritha K

on November 7, 2020

Apollo Hospitals Chennai successfully completed implanting the first World’s Largest Pulmonary Valve (32mm) without surgery in Chennai on a 61-year-old patient. According to the statement published by the hospital, the patient had undergone a total surgical correction in 1981 for a very rare condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which later caused the pulmonary valve to cause a leak, resulting in complications such as breathlessness and lethargy.

What Is Tetralogy Of Fallot?

Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth [1]. The defects directly affect the structure of the heart and cause oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and to the rest of the body.

Tetralogy of Fallot is often diagnosed during infancy or soon after. However, in some cases, the condition may not be detected until later in life in some adults, depending on the severity of the defects and symptoms [2].

Symptoms Of Tetralogy Of Fallot

Tetralogy of Fallot symptoms vary, depending on the extent of obstruction of blood flow out of the right ventricle and into the lungs; and the most common symptoms include bluish colouration of the skin caused by blood low in oxygen, fainting, breathlessness, irritability, lethargy, prolonged crying and a heart murmur [3].

Complications Of Tetralogy Of Fallot

Kids born with Tetralogy of Fallot need corrective surgery and without treatment, your baby might not grow and develop properly. Lack of treatment also increases the risk of serious complications, such as infective endocarditis; and can develop severe complications over time, which might result in death or disability by early adulthood [4].

Treatment For Tetralogy Of Fallout

Surgery is the only effective treatment for Tetralogy of Fallot, including intracardiac repair or a temporary procedure that uses a shunt [5]. While most babies and adults do well after an intracardiac repair, long-term complications are common, which was the case of the patient admitted at the Chennai Apollo Hospitals.

How Was The Tetralogy Of Fallout Patient Treated – Without Surgery?

After a thorough diagnosis, the reports revealed that the patient was suffering from severe valve leak and the leakage had progressed to the right-side pumping chamber of the heart which later began to dilate.

Pulmonary artery, the blood vessel that carries blood to the lungs had enlarged significantly. If left untreated, this could lead to progressive deterioration of the heart function [6]. The group of highly efficient doctors decided on performing a very high-risk surgery, percutaneous valve implantation.

But, importing a suitable valve that is self-expanding from markets like China was considered as an option, due to COVID Pandemic which struck early this year it became difficult. This situation led the doctor’s team with no chance other than to wait to carry out the procedure. Due to the long wait, the patient’s condition deteriorated and she suffered severe breathlessness.

The doctors’ team implanted the valve through the right femoral vein, that is, the tube that takes blood to heart from the groin, of the patient, the whole procedure was successfully completed in 2 hours [7]. The patient quickly recovered after the procedure and was discharged the very next day.

On A Final Note…

Tetralogy of Fallot is a heart defect by birth and requires an open-heart surgery at 6 months of age. But these patients have a faulty pulmonary valve and will require at least two further surgery to replace the valve in their life. The doctors added, “this latest technology will help all these individuals to get their valve replaced without surgery in a single day admission.”


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