“Have a heart” is a common appeal to the stubborn. Heartless is another commonly used term to describe a lack of sympathy, more than empathy. Whichever way you look at it, the heart is at the heart of the matter – unless it beats, pumps and recycles blood, you’re dead and nobody but nobody wants that.
But though it survives the normal wear and tear of millions of beats, - if you use an average of 80 beats per minute, if you live to be 80 years old, would have beaten approximately 3,363,840,000 times – it can have its delicate moments, like any plumbing system at home- blockages, faulty valves and the like.
It is here that a combination of a skilful doctor and technology can come in handy. Over the years advances in technology and the skills of cardiac surgeons have improved the prospects of millions of patients across the world and especially in Bengaluru, where world renowned surgeons are using the latest techniques to repair cardiac malfunctions.
Recently in a first of its kind cardiac surgical intervention in Karnataka, Aster CMI Hospital’s heart surgeons performed Robotically Assisted Surgery for Mitral Valve conditions. The Hospital has set a bench mark that other hospitals may find difficult to achieve at short notice.
Traditionally, an open heart surgery involves cutting the breast bone all the way from the neck to the abdomen. With the advent of minimally invasive technologies, the size of the surgical cut had reduced from 8-10 cm to 5- 8 cm. Now, with the help of Robotic arms, surgeons at Aster CMI Hospital have successfully performed four mitral valve surgeries, with invasions as minimal as 2.5 cm to 3.5 cm.
“We doctors sit at a console, and, with inputs from the camera, which gives us a complete view of the mitral valve in the patient’s body, guide the three Robotic Arms which are more dexterous as a human wrist, and are able to rotate almost 360 degrees, making surgical manipulation easier and more precise,” says Dr. Mahadev Dixit, Lead Consultant and Chief of Cardiac Sciences, Aster CMI Hospital.
Dr. Dixit, has, with the help of these Robotic Arms, successfully performed four mitral valve surgeries so far, three of which are on women. “All four patients are doing well,” says Dr. Dixit. “In fact, one of them was getting married, and the scar from the surgery is very minimal as compared to what a traditional open heart surgery will leave. Among the many benefits of Robotically Assisted surgeries are: smaller incisions with minimal scarring, less trauma and pain to the patient, shorter hospital stay (3 to 4 days), lesser pain medications, less bleeding, decreased risk of infection, shorter and quicker recovery time, which thereby enables the patient to get back to his/her routine fast.”
There are many advantages to this robotic surgery – It is precise, scars are minimal, so is the pain. The hospital stay is short, and the recovery is faster – he returns to productive life – all in all – good for everyone and indeed the nation.
So there is hope for the heartless and the saying “have a heart” may just die a natural death!