MMM doctors perform ‘piggy-back’ surgery

Chennai: Alagu Perumal (35), a vegetable vendor, found it difficult to work and quit his job. The reason was severe heart failure.

“He became very sick due to idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, where the heart muscle is weakened. It affects the overall body. The only breadwinner of his family, he was forced to quit work and stayed at home all day,” said Madras Medical Mission senior consultant – cardiac surgery, Dr Ejaz Ahmed Sheriff.

“After evaluation and diagnosis, he was put on regular medication and lifestyle adjustments. Despite treatment, his condition did not improve and he was hospitalised several times. It made his life traumatic and doctors suggested heart transplantation and funds were mobilised,” he said in a press release.

The doctors contemplated to use a technique, performed much less worldwide – heterotophic heart transplantation (piggyback). “This method involves using a ‘piggy-back’ heart from an average size donor and placing it in his right side of chest. This new heart would be connected to the patient’s existing heart through a complex surgical procedure where both hearts work in tandem ‘together,'” added the release.

After receiving a heart from a patient, a victim of road traffic accident, a team led by Dr Ejaz Ahmed Sheriff and other doctors conducted the surgery.

NT Bureau