Doctors perform heart surgery on 70-year-old woman

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS): A hospital here performed a successful open-heart surgery on a 70-year-old woman who has one kidney and a history of breast cancer, from Chhattisgarh's Raipur town.

Nirmala, who was surviving on a single kidney after donating one to her brother earlier, underwent the surgery successfully at the Fortis Escorts Heart hospital here and is recuperating.

A team led by S.N. Khanna, cardiac surgeon at the hospital, carried out the surgery last week, a hospital release said.

Nirmala complained of severe breathing difficulty for the last six months which aggravated recently.

Her medical background revealed that she was already being treated for breast cancer.

Nirmala's right breast was removed earlier and she also underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

After medical examination, it was found that Nirmala's aortic valve in the heart from where the blood is pumped into the brain and lower extremities had narrowed.

Due to the narrowing of the valve, very little blood was getting pumped into the body and that too with a great strain on the heart, there by causing severe thickening of heart muscles leading to breathlessness.

The patient needed immediate replacement of the heart valve for survival.

Discussing the risk involved in the surgery, S.N. Khanna said: "Heart valve replacement in Nirmala's case was very challenging. Malignancy reduces immunity and radiotherapy can cause fibrosis of the tissues in the chest."

Khanna said that post-operatively with single kidney and old age, she could have landed in renal failure and dialysis.

The high risk surgery involved removal of the narrowed valve with an artificial valve. Post-surgery, she has recovered well and was discharged from the hospital in stable condition after a week.


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