Saima (25) recovers after risky heart procedure

Aligarh: Twenty-five-year-old Aligarh resident, Saima was fit, able and savoring life to the fullest. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary-there were no abnormal symptoms, until she started wheezing.

She eventually went to a neighbourhood doctor, was put on a course of antibiotics, but the breathlessness continued.

Her life upended when an Echocardiohraphy procedure at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) by senior cardiologist, Prof Asif Hasan and a CT scan done under supervision of senior cardiac radiologist, Dr Mahtab Ahmad revealed a diagnosis of a severe and a rare aortic regurgitation, a condition where leakage of pumped out blood back into the heart occurs. Saima’s cardiac functions had deteriated to very low levels.

“She was advised for Bentall procedure to help correct problems with her aorta, the largest artery in the body,” said Dr Mohd Azam Haseen (Chairman, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery).

He added that that the procedure became very risky and challenging because of the dilated, thinned, and calcified nature of the aorta and unrolled hypertension suffered by the patient.

Subsequently, the patient was taken in for surgery and an eight-hour long Bentall procedure was successfully performed by Dr Azam Haseen and his team comprising Dr S P Singh and Dr Mayank Yadav. The surgeons reconstructed Saima’s great vessel and implanted a valve in her heart.

“The patient’s heart and lung functions were stopped for three hours during which her physiology was maintained through artificial circulation,” said Dr Sabir Ali Khan, Clinical Perfusionist.

Prof Kafil Akhtar, the Blood Bank Incharge said that the patient needed a lot of blood products that were readily made available by the Blood Bank.

Dr Nadeem Raza, who provided the patient with the anaesthesia, said that since the patient was in a very critical condition, it was difficult to give her a combination of intravenous drugs and inhaled gasses.

Applauding the team of surgeons for performing the rare procedure, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor pointed out that JNMC doctors have been conducting successful life-saving surgeries despite the Covid pandemic.

Prof Rakesh Bhargava (Dean, Faculty of Medicine) said that usually, people reach private hospitals charging exorbitant fees in metropolitans for such procedures.

“With the success in such surgeries, JNMC has opened the doors for people from lower economic strata for affordable treatments,” pointed out Prof Shahid Ali Siddiqui (Principal JNMC).

For a few days, Saima will sit hugging a pillow tightly, while coughing or sneezing to help contain the expansion of her chest so the incision does not hurt.

She has been discharged after a fine recovery, said the post-operative care medical officers, Dr Saif, Dr Shabnoor, Dr Salik and Dr Shalini.


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