Chennai, India (BBN)-A heart valve made from a cow’s heart has given a new lease of life to an 81-year-old woman.
The patient from Hyderabad, who was suffering from narrowing of the aortic valve, was operated upon at Frontier Lifeline Hospitals in Chennai last Saturday, reports The Times of India.
“The procedure was a viable alternative to traditional open heart surgery for those who have severe aortic valve stenosis and belong to high surgical risk group,” said Dr K M Cherian of Frontier Lifeline Hospitals.
The woman, who had already undergone a valve replacement surgery 11 years ago, began to show symptoms of heart problems early this year.
Though she approached several hospitals across the country, she could not get any positive response.
“She came to us in April with complaints of severe breathlessness and repeated hospital admissions. Tests showed that her replaced aortic valve was narrow,” said interventional cardiologist Dr R Anantharaman, who performed the surgery.
Conventionally, an open heart surgery is performed to remove the diseased valve and replace it with a new one.
However, considering the woman’s age, doctors decided to perform a minimally invasive procedure.
“We used a bio-prosthetic valve made from cow’s heart tissue and fixed it by inserting a catheter through a big artery in her groin,” said the doctor.
The procedure was challenging considering the fact that the elderly woman already had a valve replacement surgery and had also undergone treatment for breast cancer a few years ago.
“She had undergone radiotherapy and this had caused tissue in her chest to get stuck. This made her an extremely high risk case,” said Dr Anantharaman.
The doctor added that the difficulty arose as they had to re-do the valve replacement.
“Usually when we are replacing a native valve, we simply remove the old valve and put in a new one. But in her case, we just placed the new valve inside the old one,” he said.
The procedure was performed by a four-member team over a period of three hours.
The patient’s condition stabilized post the procedure and she has been shifted to the general ward.