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Meet the specialists in PM's surgery team
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January 24, 2009 12:42 IST

Four heart specialists from the Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai [Images], are leading a team of doctors operating upon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Saturday.

The 11-member team from AHI, led by Ramakant Panda, is heading the team of doctors who are performing the bypass graft surgery on 76-year-old Dr Singh.

Helping them would be doctors and technical staff drawn from different departments of AIIMS.

The team from the AHI includes Panda and Pradyot Kumar Rath, both cardio-vascular thoracic surgeons, Vijay Desilva, ICU specialist besides Narendra Garach, cardiac anaesthetist among others, hospital sources said.

Panda, currently the vice-chairman and cardio vascular thoracic surgeon at the AHI, has received cardiac surgery training from AIIMS itself, besides doing a fellowship training at Cleveland Clinic in America.

He has over 13 years of experience and is credited with being among the first surgeons in the country to introduce the concept of 'total arterial revascularisation', as well as being one of the pioneers of 'off-pump' bypass surgery and redo bypass surgery.

According to the AHI, under Panda's leadership, his team has performed over 10,000 bypass surgeries. He is also credited with performing more than 700 repeat (redo) bypass surgeries as well as more than 1,500 high-risk surgeries.

Interestingly, Panda, who has conducted operations in most of Mumbai's famous hospitals, including Jaslok, Breach Candy, Lilavati and Nanavati hospital, has been awarded the Rashtriya Samman for being one of the highest tax payers during the assessment years 1994-95 to 1998-99 by the Central Board of Taxes.
Rath, who completed his MBBS and MS (General Surgery) from Behrampur University and went on to complete his M CH Cardio Vascular Thoracic Surgery from Pune University is considered to be a specialist in off-pump (beating heart) Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting. He has performed more than 1,000 coronary artery by-pass surgeries.

D'Silva, the director of Medical Affairs and Critical Care at AHI, is considered as a specialist in invasive and non invasive mechanical ventilation, intra-aortic balloon therapy and hemodynamic monitoring.

Garach, one of the other doctors who are part of the team formed to operate on prime minister, is a specialist in cardiac anaesthesia and was a gold medalist in surgery at the MCPS examination in 1977.

According to hospital sources, the team from the AHI has brought about 20 boxes of special equipment with it. "Earlier, Dr K S Reddy (the PM's personal physician) had discussions with Dr Panda in connection with the line of treatment to be followed," a hospital source said.

Dr Singh, who had undergone a coronary artery by-pass surgery in the UK in 1990 and angioplasty a few years back, had complained of some chest pain, after which a decision to carry out the tests was taken.

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