Mumbai: A 24-year old Mumbai girl who was suffering from a rare and complex congenital heart disease underwent a combined heart and lung transplant at Global Hospitals, Mumbai.
Akshara, a resident of Panvel, Mumbai suffered from ventricular septal defect since childhood and this defect over the years led to Eisenmenger’s syndrome. Although she was managed medically for a long time, her condition worsened off late, and she had to be put on home-based oxygen therapy. The girl underwent a combined heart and lung transplant in June 2019.
The transplant surgery lasted for 6-7 hours. Post-surgery, the patient was rehabilitated and was subsequently discharged in mid-July. She has been regularly following up with the clinical team and is recuperating well. Her follow up lung biopsies and levels of immunosuppressive medications are being monitored closely and treated under close medical supervision.
According to doctors, the burden of patients with inoperable adult congenital heart disease and secondary pulmonary hypertension in the country is overwhelming. These patients have a condition called Eisenmenger’s syndrome. Many of them continue to turn deeply blue over time and develop secondary complications like cerebral strokes, severe right heart failure, infective endocarditis and die painful deaths after suffering immeasurably.
Dr Sandeep Attawar, Director and Chair of the Heart & Lung Programme, Gleneagles Global Hospitals, said, “The individuals who have Eisenmenger’s syndrome could have undergone corrective heart surgery in their infancy or childhood that would have prevented this fate. However, it is only of recent that these facilities have been more commonplace in the country.”
“However, for the replacement of the seriously damaged organs, there has to be an increase in deceased organ donation,” stated Dr Sandeep. He also mentioned that there is an uptick in awareness on organ donation and a ray of hope for individuals with this advanced and medically untreatable heart disease.
Patients who are chosen for the heart and lung transplantation are selected carefully after a series of coordinated and properly sequenced steps. As per the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation, the indications for heart and lung transplant are congenital heart disease with Eisenmenger’s syndrome followed by idiopathic primary pulmonary hypertension with terminal right heart failure and cystic fibrosis with severe right heart dysfunction.
Dr Vivek Talaulikar, Chief Executive Officer, Global Hospitals, said, “Till date, Global Hospitals, Mumbai, has successfully carried out three bilateral lung transplants, and one combined heart and bilateral lung transplant. Our programme will offer a safe and caring atmosphere for all patients like all our other organ transplant programmes running for decades across India.”