Give Hope - Ahmedabad Heart Hospital
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Give Hope

care1Rheumatic heart valve disease is a very disabling and disturbing disease that is unfortunately present among the citizens of India, usually affecting the people of the lower socioeconomic strata. It commonly affects the children and young adults, usually girls and ladies of child bearing age, thereby depriving them of the very essential feminine role of motherhood.


As a Cardiac surgeon, trained in Bombay and the UK, I have been traditionally taught to replace these defective and dysfunctional valves with artificial mechanical ones. This condemns these patients to a life dominated by anticoagulant medicines to keep the blood thin and not clot on the artificial valve and choke it. It also requires regular blood tests to keep the blood thin at the right optimal level, an essential ritual that is not available to those patients living in the non urban areas. In pregnant women these same medicines can cause fatal abnormalities.


care2Over the last three to four years I have developed heart valve repair techniques in India that we can now safely claim to be at par with the best in the world. This allows us to preserve the patient’s own valve in a healthy repaired state. It also does away with the need for anti coagulation and regular blood testing. It is a boon for the pregnant ladies.


It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to replace a valve but it takes about one and half to two hours to repair one to my satisfaction.


I want to promote and propagate this mode of therapy for the people of India to that extent that no heart valve is ever replaced without a fair attempt at repair. I want the valve to be replaced only if there is no way out.


Ischemic heart disease, in India, often affects the young and middle aged adult at the peak of his productive life and career, usually fathers who have the responsibility of a dependant, maybe young, family. It is usually a disease born out of our life style patterns in people with a family history of such an ailment. Dietary habits, addictions and stress, all contribute to the development of the disease.


It commonly manifests as a “heart attack”. It can occasionally be fatal, thereby depriving the family of its major or sole “bread winner”. More commonly the disease presents with symptoms like chest pain, upper limb pain, tightening or a choking sensation at the root of the neck, jaw pain, back pain or as a combination of the above associated with severe perspiration shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing palpitations and severe uneasiness.


These symptoms are the result of an inadequate blood supply to the affected regions of the heart due to the narrowing or blocking of the relevant coronary artery


A healthy sensible life style, regular exercises and good dietary practices and eating habits can help us beat this disease.


When affected a coronary angiography can help us identify the artery that is narrowed or blocked. Restoring blood flow back to the affected segment either requires an angioplasty or a coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG). In an angioplasty the offending segment of the diseased artery is dilated and is kept open with the help of a cylindrical metal scaffold called a stent. During the operation of a CABG, the surgeon constructs new vessels parallel to the diseased vessel to “bypass” the affected segment and provide blood to the area of the heart beyond the narrowed or blocked segment of the native coronary artery. The new blood vessels are constructed using arteries in the front chest wall, forearms or the abdomen and veins from the legs.


A good operation with comprehensive life style changes and regular supervised medical assessments can allow a patient to live a long happy life. At the Ahmedabad Heart Hospital patient counselling, interactive educative sessions, for both physicians and patients and a holistic approach is encouraged. Regular continuing medical education (CME) meetings are also held for the doctors at all levels of specialisation and seniority.