Open heart surgery conducts on new born baby

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Bangalore, Apr 17 (UNI) In a rare case, a baby weighing a mere 900 grams at birth was successfully operated upon for a heart disorder here.

Born prematurely at 27 weeks, which is less than seven months of gestation, this infant had suffered a life threatening mass flopping (a fungal mass) in the right chamber, leading to obstruction of blood flow. The only option available to save the child was to conduct an open heart surgery.

Briefing newspersons on the procedure, cardiovascular surgeon N S Devananda of Wockhardt Hospitals said the six-hour open heart surgery was successful and the baby had regained health after eight weeks of post operative healthcare.

''Current literature in pediatric cardiac surgery suggests this as the first ever successful open heart surgery conducted on a new born baby weighing less than one kg in India,'' he claimed.

The baby, a male child named Jonathan, was admitted to the hospital after developing breathing difficulty two weeks after birth. He suffered severe weight loss, losing about one tenth of his weight in just three weeks. The baby was on ventilator support and chances of his survival without a surgery were very slim, he said.

Dr Devananda said when the team of doctors first saw the baby, the vital parametres were extremely distressing. He was on a ventilator with critically balanced blood oxygen levels and fungal growth in his heart had infected his blood.

''An open heart surgery was the only chance of survival. But such a procedure on an extremely low birth weight baby with infection posed huge risks and a big challenge. Left without an option, we decided to go for it,'' he said.

Now, after a eight week post-operative care where the baby was given anti-fungal medication, Jonathan responded positively to the treatment and his vital organs functioned normally while his brain development was on track.

''We started on one ml milk and is currently breast fed well. The baby now weighs 1.8 kg and his growth will be closely monitored for next one year,'' Dr Prakash Vemgal, Pediatric Critical Care specialist said.

The whole procedure and post-operation treatment cost the child's father Rs four lakh. The same treatment would have cost half a million US dollars in the US.

''This was the first such case we had come across and we were not sure of the outcome. Now such complicated operations could be performed in India at a fraction of cost compared to the West,'' Dr Davananada added.

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