A team of specialists at Apollo Hospitals led by Dr Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale, Senior Heart & Lung Transplant Surgeon, performed a Heart Transplantation successfully on a 36 year old man suffering from terminal heart disease. This surgery was done on 26th of February, 2016 and the patient has since recovered and is getting discharged.
The recipient V. Naveen Kumar, a software engineer by profession and resident of Hyderabad had to quit his job at Accenture a year back due to heart problem. He was diagnosed to be suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy for last four years, it worsened further since eight months and was virtually confined to home. Naveen was treated by cardiologists for breathing difficulty and hospitalised three times in the last six months to control heart failure. He was referred to Dr. Gokhale for the possibility of heart transplantation.
When patient came to Apollo Hospitals on 18th January, 2016, he was very critical and needed admission in ICCU under the care of cardiologist Dr. Manoj Agarwal and Dr. Gokhale. He was stabilized and discharged after 10 days to let him join in his one year old son's birthday celebrations. In the meantime his name was registered with Jeevandan. His condition remained precarious and had to undergo regular follow ups, while waiting for a heart from a cadaver.
The patient's condition was turning critical with his liver and kidney parameters sliding down. He belonged to O+ blood group and getting a organ donor for that blood group was difficult. It become clear that this patient on the death bed could recovery only through a heart transplant, says Dr Gokhale. Around one lakh patients need heart transplant and 70000 to 80000 cadaver hearts are available every year, but due to sheer lack of awareness amongst the public and doctor community, this state could perform just 21 heart transplants till date. Funding is not an issue, governments are coming forward to bear the cost for poor, awareness is the issue, he said. We have surplus organ availability but is not being utilized to the potential. We have done close to 250 heart transplants in the country in last 21 years, off which 40 were done in the last two years, heart transplants are picking up steam in the last couple of years. Kidney transplantation is very popular, but kidney patients still have an option in dialysis to survive, which is not the case with terminally ill heart and liver patients, they don't have another option but transplant. The success rate of heart transplant program is as good as kidney transplantation at 80-85% and the quality of life post transplant surgery is superb. If the cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon work as a team with appropriate support and equipment, the heart transplant program can be a success. There are very few transplant centers in the country and only few have expertise to maintain the organs in a state to transplant. Apollo is equipped to handle transplant program on par with the best transplant programs abroad and already runs the largest organ transplant program in the world, Dr Gokhale said.
Cardiologist Dr Manoj Agarwala said, initially when this patient came, he had extreme breathlessness, his kidney and liver were not functioning, we stabilised the liver and kidney functioning. His heart's pumping ability came down to 20 ml therefore he had those symptoms, a normal heart pumps upto 60 to 70 ml. The reasons for heart failure have not yet been ascertained yet, it could be because of genetic issues, family with a history of heart problem, viral infection, nutritional deficiency etc.
On 25th of February, relations of a 19 year old brain dead patient with O+ blood group, agreed to donate organs at Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills. However donor blood pressure was low and was put on large doses of medicines to maintain blood pressure. An heart like that is not conducive for transplant. However intensivists at Apollo Hospitals worked extremely hard overnight to stabilise the heart condition and facilitate usage of the same to save the life of this heart failure patient. Naveen recovered well after transplant and was mobile within 48 hours.
Patient Naveen Kumar said, I got a new lease of life. His wife Annapurna said, my husband has been suffering for the last five years due to heart problem, he couldn't walk, eat or relax, it's been very traumatic. Our family took a collective decision to go for a heart transplant and are extremely happy with the success.
Heart transplantation is a rare operation done for end-stage heart failure. So far in India, only a little over 250 heart transplants are done. Unlike kidney and liver transplantations, awareness about heart transplantation is dismal and many a times donated hearts are going waste. After heart transplantation, most of these patients can lead normal life and carry on with their jobs.
About Apollo Hospitals:
It was in 1983, that Dr. Prathap Reddy made a pioneering endeavour by launching India’s first corporate hospital - Apollo Hospital in Chennai. Now, as Asia largest and most trusted healthcare group, its presence includes 8,488 beds across 51 Hospitals, 1,586 Pharmacies, 92 Primary Care and Diagnostic Clinics, 100 Telemedicine units across 10 countries. Health Insurance services, Global Projects Consultancy, 15 colleges of Nursing and Hospital Management and a Research Foundation with a focus on global Clinical Trials, epidemiological studies, stem cell & genetic research and the first Proton Therapy Center across Asia, Africa and Australia.
In a rare honor, the Government of India issued a commemorative stamp in recognition of Apollo's contribution, the first for a healthcare organization. Apollo Hospitals Chairman, Dr. Prathap C Reddy, was conferred with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2010. For more than 28 years, the Apollo Hospitals Group has continuously excelled and maintained leadership in medical innovation, world-class clinical services and cutting-edge technology. Our hospitals are consistently ranked amongst the best hospitals globally for advanced medical services and research.