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Docs At Fortis Perform Cardiac Surgery On A Day Old Baby

Cardiac Surgery

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Doctors at Fortis Hospital in Delhi have performed a life-saving cardiac surgery on a 24 hours old baby boy. The baby was born with narrow aortic valve with a missing leaflet that restricted free blood flow to the body, putting threat to the newborn.

The case came to the hospital when the family came for a fetal assessment on 34th week of pregnancy i.e. at eight and a half months pregnant. Doctors informed that during investigation, it was found that the baby’s heart had a major cardiac defect with a narrow aortic valve with two leaflets instead of three.

Doctors counselled the family about the consequences and drew up a plan to treat after birth. A team of experts led by Dr. Gaurav Garg, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Cardiology performed the surgery. The delivery was regular without any complications. However, the baby’s condition started deteriorating soon after the birth and an immediate surgical intervention was done as per the plan, said doctors.

Dr. Gaurav Garg, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh said, “After birth, we kept the baby under strict supervision in the NICU (neonatal ICU). Within 24 hours the baby’s condition deteriorated rapidly, and we put him on ventilator. He was taken to the Cath lab where the narrowed valve was successfully opened. The entire surgical intervention lasted 2 hours. The main challenge was that the cardiac structures of a newborn baby are very soft and small, requiring precision in execution, right from taking a vascular access to entering the heart.”

Experts say that when the aortic valve has only two (instead of three) leaflets, it is called a bicuspid aortic valve (or BAV).

“Often the valve leaflets are thickened and less pliable than normal, and the lines of separation between them are fused together to a variable degree. A newborn with critical aortic valve stenosis develops heart failure in the first days of life. This is an emergency that requires immediate treatment, either balloon dilation of the valve or surgery,” said Dr Garg.

Shreya Jain (name changed) mother of the baby said, “We are really happy that our baby was saved by the doctors. After a day of the surgery, he was taken off the ventilator and I began feeding. It was the most overwhelming feeling. My baby is normal and healthy now with no signs of any disturbance. The correct antenatal diagnosis, counselling, and planning helped a lot to save the baby.”

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