Minimal access cardiac surgery which is performed only in selected centres even world wide has been successfully performed at Bharath Cardiovascular Institute in Kottayam. The first beneficiary of this most modern and path breaking achievement is a house wife from Parathodu, Kerala, who came to BCI with complaints of a hole between the upper chambers of her heart. The cardiac surgeons at the institute performed her open heart operation through a small 2 inch incision from the side of her chest below the right breast without cutting the sternum (central bone of the chest). This very well proves that, with the right combination of modern technology and trained surgical expertise, cardiac surgery at par with international standards can be performed even in a small town like Kottayam, at rates affordable to common man.
Quite different from other branches of surgery, the keyhole surgery has not caught on well in the field of cardiac surgery. But modern technology and scientific advancements have helped to overcome many technical hurdles which prevented it from coming up. Now all the advantages of minimal access surgery is made available to cardiac surgery patients as well- less pain, small incision, less blood loss, faster recovery and discharge from hospital and quicker return to normal life and work. The cardiac surgeons of Bharath Cardiovascular Institute (BCI) Dr. Smartin Abraham and Dr. Saji Radhakrishnan - are happy that they were instrumental in bringing this futuristic contribution of modern science to the common man in Kerala.
Chief medical officer Dr. Viswanathan Pillai stated that though endoscopic vein harvesting through a half inch long incision from leg was routine for all patients undergoing bypass operation in BCI, it is the first time that a whole open heart operation has been performed endoscopically. This takes away lot of pain and makes open heart operation much bearable. “ But this technique needs special anaesthetic and surgical expertise, special instruments, endoscope, camera etc. They had to imported from countries like France and America” revealed Dr. Vinod Viswanathan, managing director of BharathHospital.
A good number of routine open heart operations in BCI, especially those in girl children, have been performed from the side of the chest, without cutting the central bone of the chest and this makes the procedure much less painful and reduces the amount of pain medication that need to be given to the patients – claimed the chief cardiac anaesthetist Dr. Thomas Varghese.
The whole procedure was ably supported by the institute’s interventional cardiologists Dr. James Thomas, Dr. Saji Jose, Dr.Philipose John, Dr. Salim P.A, Dr Suresh G A, Dr. Rajesh menon, Dr. Rajeeb Mohamud, Dr Aparna and Dr. Sadakkathulla.