Bengaluru: 7-month-old baby undergoes rare heart surgery at Columbia Asia Hospital

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Bengaluru, 09 Oct: Baby Aryan, a seven-month old kid, was gasping for breath, using all the additional muscles of his tiny skinny body frame to take each shallow breath. Merely of 3.3 kilos weight, it was very low compared to other healthy babies of his age.


Even this weight was achieved by struggling to feed in-between the rapid breaths. Aryan was very vulnerable to infections, particularly chest infection and had already been admitted to the hospital 3 times, in the last 4 months. His parents were very anxious during his admission that they would lose their precious child.



Aryan suffered from a congenital heart disease, a complex developmental anomaly of the heart, where the partitioning of the heart was incomplete. The valves that regulated the flow of blood within the heart was incomplete resulting in a common valve instead of 2 separate valves. These valves were not competent resulting in a poor forward flow of blood and very high pressure in the lung’s blood vessels.


Baby Aryan underwent a complex heart surgery where in the heart was partitioned into 4 chambers with 2 separate valves between them that were competent. This is among the most complicated heart operations done, especially at such a tender age with high risk of post-surgery infections and also the risk of his little body succumbing to it.


After the surgery, Baby Aryan recovered very well, his breathing and feeding became normal. Thereafter, he gradually started to gain weight. Many such infant patients suffering from similar types of heart disease often die because they are not diagnosed correctly at the right time. Also they do not have access to facilities and skilled teams that perform complex congenital heart surgeries.


In India only a dozen centers are capable of doing this kind of heart operation, while the numbers of children affected with congenital heart disease are approximately 8 out of 1000 live births, that when extrapolated to our population growth (birth rate) will amount to an astounding 2 lakh children per year.  Out of these, a third of them are like Aryan, who aren’t fortunate unless they are operated in their infancy.


‘Every child needs to live a free, healthy life, without the constraints of any complicated disease which burdens the family with the fear of death and restrict their growth and development. Recovering an infant life from such a complicated disease has an indelible effect on the parents. More parental counselling and charitable gatherings should be organized where parents of such infants are supported and guided to move ahead in the right direction,’ said Dr Joseph Xavier, consultant – cardio thoracic vascular surgery, Columbia Asia Hospital, Sarjapur Road.


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