Doctors at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI), India’s leading cardiac care facility, said that 16 year old Prince is in good health and ready to go back to his hometown to resume a normal life following the successful Heart Transplant Surgery conducted on January 3, 2015, under the guidance and leadership of Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute. The surgery was conducted by Dr Z S Meharwal, Director of Cardiac Surgery along with Dr Yugal Mishra, Director of Cardiac Surgery, Dr Anil Karlekar, Director of Anesthesia, Dr Sameer Shrivastava, Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology and Dr Vishal Rastogi, Head of Heart Failure Program, who took care of the patient during procedure and his recovery.
Prince was suffering from a condition called Idiopathic Dilated Cardio Myopathy, an end stage heart disease with a poor heart function, and an LV ejection fraction of 15%. He had been consulting FEHI for treatment of this disease and was advised heart transplantation when he came two months ago with symptoms of severe breathlessness.
The donor of Prince’s heart was a 30 year old IT professional whose family, based in Hyderabad took a noble decision to donate his organs and save six valuable lives, upon being declared brain dead by a team of doctors at FMRI, on January 3, at 8:48 am.
Dr. Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, said,” It is heartening to see Prince’s progress since his surgery a fortnight ago. He has made an uncomplicated recovery. He wants to go cycling throughout the day and is looking forward to playing with his friends. There are approximately 46 lakh patients who suffer from heart failure in India and 10% of these die every year. Seeing Prince’s recovery gives hope to many people in the country whose future can be changed by a meticulous team work of specialists at Institute’s such as ours, who have made this recovery possible in a total sterile environment to avoid infection and organ rejection. We aim to expand this collaboration to airlift donor hearts from other cities for transplantation at FEHI, to bridge the availability factor.”
Post-surgery, a rehabilitation team assisted the patient to get back to normalcy. The process includes counseling, education and exercise training to help build muscles that keep the recovery ongoing. The rehabilitation starts from sitting up, graduates to taking a few steps and subsequently slowly increases the activity level of the patient.
Dr ZS Meharwal, Director and Coordinator, Cardiovascular Surgery, FEHI and Chief Operating Surgeon for the case, said, “We are delighted to see Prince’s recovery and wish him all the best as he starts a normal life including going back to his daily routine of resuming school activities and playing. His first endomyocardial biopsy was conducted before discharge and he is absolutely fine with no signs of rejection. He will continue to be on immuno suppressants and would need to be back for regular check-ups. He needs to take adequate precautions to prevent infection.”
Added Dr Meharwal, “With recent advances in surgical techniques and improved medical management of organ rejection after transplantation, patients can now hope for an increasingly faster recovery after heart transplantation. The new heart is supported with intravenous medications for about 1-2 days until it recovers from the "shock" of the transplant but the patient immediately feels the difference a healthy heart makes. As the immune system gets activated immediately after the heart is transplanted, the patient is given medications to prevent rejection, both before the transplant, and immediately afterwards.”
Dr Yugal Mishra, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery, the second surgeon in the case, “This is a very satisfying and happy moment for the patient and his family and the treating doctors because the Institute has given a successful and uncomplicated recovery to a young patient who got a heart transplant. This is only the first step. Subsequently, the patient has to be maintained with immuno suppressants and monitored for rejection of organs which in itself is a very tedious process. We at the Institute are geared to manage this with extreme care and efficiency. With a growing number of heart failure patients in our country, a heart transplant is an effective and comparatively cheaper mode of treatment as compared to assisted devices. This success has given us tremendous confidence to treat and organize a well structured program in our Institute to take care of these patients. ”
Dr Sameer Shrivastava, Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology, said, “The transplant of this 16 year old was an emotionally transporting experience. At the time of discharge, it is making us all the more so, as the procedure has made the survival for the boy reasonably long. It is gratifying to know that the donor’s parents will be happy that somewhere their son’s heart is beating away.”
Dr Vishal Rastogi, Head of Heart Failure Program at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, said, “Heart failure today is considered a continuum of disease process in which the management of the heart should start even when the symptoms of the heart are not there. Once the patient starts experiencing symptoms of breathlessness, swelling of the feet and abdomen, fatigue and lack of energy, then he must be treated very aggressively with medicines like diuretics, ACE inhibitors and beta blockers. At the same time all efforts must be taken to see if the problem is reversible. Once the disease progresses relentlessly and patient develops end stage Heart failure, then the only viable option is to transplant the heart.”
Added Dr Rastogi, “We hope that Prince grows up to be a role model to many patients with end stage heart failure who may need either left ventricular assist device or heart transplant to save lives. Prince will be managed with immune suppressants and prophylactic anti-microbials for preventing infections. He will also require long time meticulous follow up by our team of specialists.”
Prince was the third on the FEHI list for Heart transplant patients but the lucky one who got the donor heart as he was able to come immediately, when the team of doctors at FEHI contacted him. Of the other two patients on the list, one had passed away a few days ago awaiting treatment, while another patient was out of the city. In this case, Speed, Timing and Coordination were extremely crucial and the team at FEHI worked closely to accomplish all of that.
16 year old Prince, said, “I am really thankful to doctors at FEHI who have given me a new lease of life. Words cannot express my gratitude for what the doctors here have done for me. Getting back to normal life like going to school, playing in parks, feeling the grass below my feet, enjoying life like my peers was a distant dream, but now an immediate reality. I salute the parents of the 30 year old boy who took the noble decision to donate their son’s organs because of which I stand here today in front of all of you.”
Paternal uncle, of the 16 year old boy were also short of words when asked how he felt seeing young Prince all set to take new challenges of life like any other teenager. Tearfully, he thanked the team of doctors saying, “I can never find words to express my gratitude to the team of doctors who gave Prince a new life. More than that, I really have no words to express my intense gratitude to the family who made this possible for him. I salute this God-like gesture of the parents of the donor.”
About Fortis Escorts Heart Institute
Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI), Delhi, a pioneer and centre of excellence in cardiac care, is celebrating 25 years of path-breaking work and service to the numerous heart patients, who have benefitted from treatment, at this outstanding facility. Armed with clinical expertise and cutting-edge medical technology, the hospital has set enviable benchmarks in Cardiac Bypass Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Interventional Cardiology, Non-invasive Cardiology, Pediatric Cardiology and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. Till date, FEHI has successfully completed over 1,72,000 Coronary Angiographies, over 90,000 Cardiac Surgeries and almost 52,000 Coronary Angioplasties, in addition to several life-saving procedures. The hospital also performed India’s first Trans Catheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) and Bioresorable Vascular Scaffold (BVS); Asia Pacific’s first Directional Atherectomy, Angioscopy, Drug Eluting Stenting, etc. Over the years, FEHI has cloned a Heart Care Network of 19 hospitals and Heart Command Centers in India and abroad. It has also launched the revolutionary e-ICU program, enabling remote and timely access to critical care. Fortis Escorts Heart Institute has won numerous awards and accolades, the most recent among them being the ‘Best Cardiology Hospital’ at the ICICI Lombard & CNBC TV18 India Healthcare Awards for 2012, 2013 and the No 1. Ranking in the Private Cardiac category Hospital by The Week Nielson Best Hospitals Survey, 2014.
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