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Home > News > PTI

'Balloon' treatment for infant

September 12, 2007 00:11 IST

A blocked heart valve of a one-day-old premature infant has been opened by a non-surgical balloon procedure at a hospital in Chennai.

The catheter-based procedure was done by Dr R Prem Sekar, noted paediatric cardiologist at the Frontier Lifeline Hospital - Dr.K.M. Cherian Heart Foundation, last month and the baby, Kavitha, was recovering well, a release said.

Kavitha was the second of twins born on August 5 and delivered one month prematurely at a city hospital. She weighed just 2.1 kg and soon after birth developed breathing difficulty and bluish discoloration of the body.

After check-up, doctors found that the Kavitha is suffering from critical pulmonary valve stenosis, a condition where the pulmonary (outflow) valve from the right pumping chamber in the heart does not open to allow normal flow of blood to the lungs. Such cases require emergency interventions to prevent death.

A day after her birth, medicos performed an emergency procedure (Balloon Pulmonary Valvuloplasty) to open up the blocked valve. The procedure was carried out by introducing a very small balloon catheter (tiny tube with an inflatable balloon at its end) through the blood vessels in the leg and inflating the balloon to stretch open the blocked valve.

The surgery was complex due to the small size of the baby that required very delicate manoeuvres to gain access into the heart. However, it was successfully carried out with good relief of the obstruction and improved blood flow to the lungs. 

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