A team of doctors of Indiana Hospital, led by Chief Consultant Cardiac Surgeon Dr Nisarga performed a rarest of the rare heart operation, ‘Awake cardiac surgery’ on a female patient suffering from Atrial Septal Defect, or a hole in the heart, on October 11.
- NISARGA is a cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon in India. Patient witnessed her own heart surgery being performed. She was completely awake during the whole procedure which lasted for about 4 hours. Her surgery was done without using the ventilator. Heart was completely stopped and she was not breathing for hours, but was completely awake.
The surgery was rarest, as the patient had a rare Bombay blood group. Briefing about the surgery to mediapersons on Wednesday, Dr Nisarga said that Rukmini (36), a resident of Sakaleshpur in Hassan, was detected with congenial heart disease. There was a hole in her heart since the time of her birth. The risk factor during the surgery was more as the patient had severe lung disease.
Meanwhile, it was also found during multiple lab tests that the patient had a very rare blood group – Bombay blood group. The person with this blood group can not be transfused with any of the common blood groups. Hence, finding a donor with the same blood group too was a challenging task, Dr Nisarga said.
However, they finally found a donor in the form of Nishchith, an employe at the deputy commissioner’s office, who too had Bombay + (positive) Blood Group. “He was the only one person with the same blood group we could find in Mangalore at the moment. We contacted the BBG organisation in Mumbai and got the list of people with Bombay blood group and learnt about Nishchith. He voluntarily donated the blood.
However, the surgery was conducted without any blood transfusion,” the doctor said. He claimed that it was for the first time in India awake cardiac surgery was conducted on a patient with Bombay blood group. Patient Rukmini was concious throughout the operation.
The cardiology team headed by Chief Interventional Cardiologist and MD of Indiana Hospital Dr Yusuf Kumble in association with Consultant Cardiologist Dr Manjunath conducted cath-angiogram study to assess and plan the surgery while, Dr Nisarga and his team executed it.5 Bombay blood groups in DK.
Bombay blood group is one of the rarest blood groups found in the world. The name was derived after it was discovered by Dr Bhende in Mumbai. Though 180 individuals with the Bombay blood group are detected in the world, four to five of them have Bombay- (negative) blood group.
There are chances of people with O+ (positive) blood group having Bombay blood group, which can be found through further laboratory tests. According to the data available with Dakshina Kannada district Red Cross blood bank, there are five persons with Bombay blood group in the district.
There has been a huge effort in recent times to make heart surgery less invasive. This can be done in two ways. Firstly smaller cuts can be made and this is helped with modern technology and robotics.Secondly trying to interfere as little as possible with the body’s natural functions.The patients are given a mild sedative rather than being “knocked out” – this drops their heart rate but means they can respond to commands. The patients are drowsy so they can be aroused but are also able to drift into sleep.If we need them to cough or breathe more deeply to clear air from their heart they can respond. This makes the procedure a lot easier to perform.