Hani Jawad Mohammad (56), an Iraqi patient who suffered from end-stage heart failure in 2018, has found a new lease of life.
A rare case, Mohammad made a full recovery and his heart is functioning without an artificial pump or left ventricular assist device (LVAD), thanks to doctors at Fortis Hospital in Noida who treated him.
LVAD is an artificial device designed for patients with end-stage heart failure. It mimics the functions of a natural heart and pumps blood throughout the body in patients whose natural heart is too weak to perform the function itself. In 2018, Hani came to Fortis Hospital in Noida with end stage heart failure.
âHe was short of breath and couldn’t do routine activities, like taking a bath, without help. Since no surgery was possible, he was put on the list of heart transplants. While waiting for the donor’s heart, the patient’s condition began to deteriorate and he became so critical that he needed life-saving machines to keep him alive. That’s when we decided to put him on LVAD or artificial heart, âsaid Dr Ajay Kaul, president of Fortis Heart & Vascular Institute, Noida.
The device is placed inside the heart and works with batteries attached to the outside of the body. A small hole needs to be made to connect the machine wire with the batteries, the doctors said.
In 2019, Hani developed a transmission infection around the point on her chest where the wire was connected.
âWe treated the infection and during a routine exam we found that her heart had fully recovered and it was very rare. We have reduced the speed of the pump. His heart was still working at its optimum capacity, but we kept the pump running for safety. We asked her to come back after six months for a follow-up. We observed it over the next year because we wanted to be very sure that the heart was working properly without the support of the pump, âsaid Dr Kaul, adding that in November 2020 they had turned the device off. .
Finally, in August of this year, it was decided after consultation with the patient that the artificial heart would be explanted. âThe explant procedure was performed at Fortis Hospital in Noida in September. This is a new surgical procedure which was first successfully carried out in India. The patient was discharged within five days and is doing very well, âthe doctors said.
According to medical experts, explant surgery has not yet been recorded in the medical literature.
âLVAD is considered the last resort for patients with end-stage heart failure and is planted on those who are on the waiting list for a heart transplant. Usually, when the patient has a heart transplant, the LVAD is removed. In some cases, as the devices have become more technologically advanced, they can also be used as destination therapy where the patient can continue their life with the LVAD in their heart. With end-stage heart failure, the heart is so weak that without LVAD it is unable to function. But in this case, the heart has recovered and is able to function without LVAD. So far in India, no such case has been recorded in the medical literature, âsaid Dr Dheeraj Sharma, Associate Professor, Cardiac Surgery, Postgraduate Institute of Child Health, Noida.
In the past two years, Hani has become a father of two and also named one of his sons in honor of the doctor who treated him.
âI owe my life to the team of medical experts at the hospital who treated me. In gratitude, I named my newborn son in honor of Chief Medical Officer Ajay Kaul. When I came for treatment, I couldn’t even stand up and I was in a wheelchair, but today I can do everyday activities without any problem, âsaid Hani.