Express press service
BENGALURU: A premature baby weighing 1.18kg underwent open heart surgery – one with the lowest birth weight in India – for complex congenital heart disease at a hospital in Bangalore.
Born at 30 weeks, he was found to have a congenital condition called transposition of the great arteries (TGA). This is a serious and rare heart problem in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed, which can lead to death if not corrected.
Essentially, the bad blood returns to the body and the good blood returns to the lungs. Ahead of March 3, celebrated as World Birth Defects Day, doctors at Manipal Hospital conducted a successful arterial switch operation.
“The mother gave birth to twins prematurely, one of whom had TGA and was not breathing well. He also suffered from blue baby syndrome, in which good blood does not circulate in the body,” said Dr Kavya Mallikarjun , consultant in pediatric cardiology.
Dr Kavya said they watched him for more than 10 days in the NICU because each day gave him an extra survival advantage. “The lungs, kidneys and other organs are immature in a premature baby. If we operate early, the chances of survival are less. We then performed an arterial switch operation in which the aorta is put back into the left ventricle and the pulmonary artery is put back into the right ventricle,” Dr. Kavya added.
Dr Devananda, Cardiac Surgery, Chief and Consultant, Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery, Heart and Lung Transplant Surgery, said they waited for the lungs to improve and the size of the baby was a challenge. The team of doctors included Dr. Venkatesh, consultant in neonatology and pediatrics.
Postoperative care consisted of observing the baby in the cardiac intensive care unit, putting him on a ventilator for eight days, transferring him to the NICU, putting him on a CPAP machine, then on oxygen, before ultimately remove him from oxygen support. “He also developed an aortic stenosis which had to be treated surgically,” added Dr Devananda.