A man with two hearts found in Kerala
A man who went into the operation theatre as his heart was functioning at a level which was around the tenth of normal, came out of surgery with two of them.
Yes, this might seem like science fiction to many but a 45-year-old man from Kerala became the first person in the country to live with two beating and functioning hearts. While one was his own the other was taken from a woman.
The patient had suffered a heart failure and went through a rare transplant, in which rather than getting a new heart which replaced his own, the heart taken from the woman was connected to the man's heart so that they could share the workload.
The procedure was conducted at the Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital, Coimbatore, after the Cardio-thoracic surgeons at the hospital realised that the man would need to undergo a heart transplant after they found out it was functioning only at 10 per cent. In addition to this, there was a vital difference in the case of this patient.
KMCH's Dr Prashanth Vaijyanath, the cardiothoracic surgeon who performed the surgery is reported by a leading national daily to have said, "As part of the work-up, we found that his lung pressure and lung resistance were extremely high. In such a condition, the newly grafted heart usually fails because it will not be able to overcome the lung pressure."
As per reports, steps such as a heart-lung transplant, fixing an artificial heart on the left and right side or allowing the failing heart to piggyback on an efficient new heart are the few options that exist in this kind of cases.
"When a brain dead woman of almost the same age and his size came on Monday, we found a heart that matched his heart's size and chose to try the third option, which is called a heterotopic transplant," Dr Vaijyanath is reported to have said.
And as per reports, the surgery began with doctors opening up the patient's chest cavity and creating a small space for the new heart. As the next step, Dr Vaijyanath reportedly said, "Once we implanted the new heart, we had to synchronise the beats of the two hearts, which were different in character.
That was done with the help of a pacemaker." He added, "We connected the hearts at five places, three connections on the left side of the heart and two on the right side."
The entire surgery is reported to have been conducted without stopping the patient's native heart. The doctor said that following the procedure, the patient would be a balanced man and also genetically fascinating as he will now have both, his own XY chromosomes, as well as, the XX chromosomes from the woman who's heart was put in her.