Kauvery Hospital Chennai, has performed three complex surgeries in the aorta within a month. All three patients were successfully treated and discharged within a few days of surgery. “One of our patients was a 64-year-old woman. The initial diagnosis was done by Dr C Sundar, Senior Consultant Cardiologist who discovered the accumulation of blood around her heart through ECHO cardiogram. Within two hours, she was shifted for surgery since that was the only option to save her. The success and life-saving measures depend on quick diagnosis. The patient who was diabetic and hypertensive on irregular medications presented to our hospital with severe chest pain and hypertension with blood pressure at only 60. This made the treatment more complex,” said Dr A R Raghuram, Senior Consultant, Cardiac Surgeon.
Unlike other cardiac surgeries, aortic dissection is a very complex procedure and not many health centres in Tamil Nadu or south India are equipped with the right expertise and infrastructure. “Dissection of aorta is a technically challenging surgery and it needs the right expertise within the window period to see success rate. The surgery on the 64-year-old woman was completed in 5 hours and within 6 days she was discharged,” added Dr Raghuram.
The symptoms of an aortic dissection are similar to that of a heart attack where one can undergo sudden severe chest pain or back pain, difficulty in breathing, loss of consciousness, weak pulse rate, paralysis of legs, etc. Hence it becomes imperative to get it diagnosed as early as possible. Other risk factors of an aortic dissection include chronic hypertension, old age, weakened arteries and severe chest pain etc.
Aorta is the largest blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body. A tear or cut in this artery can lead to death, if not diagnosed and treated within a few hours of discovering the symptoms. According to experts, one in five people with an aortic dissection (tear in the aorta) die before getting admitted to a hospital and the mortality rate among these people stands at more than 50%.
Speaking about the achievement, Dr Aravindan Selvaraj, Executive Director, Kauvery Hospital said, “It is important to note that the ongoing pandemic has not stopped us from providing timely diagnosis and lifesaving treatment. I congratulate cardiothoracic surgical team headed by Dr A R Raghuram for saving the patients from a life threatening situation”.