Octogenarian gets first ‘no-cut’ valve implant

In a development that comes as a good news for elderly patients with heart ailments, doctors at a Gurgaon hospital have performed India’s first ‘no cut’ valve implant on an 80-year-old patient.

The patient, who required a valve replacement but was too frail to undergo a major surgery, was planted with a new valve through a a small injection in the groin, in a procedure that lasted hardly an hour.

Doctors at Medanta Medicity conducted the surgery last week with the help of two European doctors, marking the first time a Fully Percutaneous Valve Implant [PVI] was carried out in India.

The patient, who responded well to the treatment, was discharged on the third day of the surgery.

‘Up till now the problem with elderly people who had narrowed valves was that 60-70 per cent of them could not have surgery done due to weak lungs and other frailties. They would just take medicines which could best somehow prolong their lives,’ said Dr Praveen Chandra, who led the 12 member team.

‘Now, we have successfully performed a valve replacement by inserting a new valve by a small injection through the groin,’ he said.

Worldwide over 50,000 such procedures have been conducted so far but this was the first instance in India, done with the assistance of two French doctors.

The successful conduct of the ‘no cut no stitch’ procedure brings a fresh ray of hope for heart patients who need valve replacement but are not medically fit for an open heart surgery.

Under normal circumstances, patients with a defective valve have to undergo an open heart surgery where the thoracic cavity is cut open to implant a new valve.

However, patients above 65 years of age are considered too frail to undergo such a major procedure.

The new development allows for a valve to be implanted with a very small puncture in the groin vessels, often without any anesthesia. The artificial valve makes its way to the heart through lower limb blood vessels and is placed over the faulty one with help of X-Ray guidance.
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