Valve from cow’s heart saves life of 81-year-old woman in Chennai

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A heart valve made from a cow’s heart has saved the life of an 81-year-old woman from Hyderabad. The woman, who was suffering from narrowing of the aortic valve, was operated in Chennai last Saturday.

“The procedure was a viable alternative to traditional open heart surgery for those who have severe aortic valve stenosis and belong to high surgical risk group,” said Dr K M Cherian of Frontier Lifeline Hospitals.

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The woman had begun to show symptoms of heart problems early this year after having undergone a valve replacement surgery 11 years ago. She could not get any positive response from any hospital despite visiting several across the country.

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She came to us in April with complaints of severe breathlessness and repeated hospital admissions. Tests showed that her replaced aortic valve was narrow,” said interventional cardiologist Dr R Anantharaman, who performed the surgery.

Considering the woman’s age, the doctors decided to perform a minimally invasive procedure instead of a standard open heart surgery.

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“We used a bio-prosthetic valve made from cow’s heart tissue and fixed it by inserting a catheter through a big artery in her groin,” the doctor said.

A four-member team performed the procedure over four hours. The surgery was successful and after the patient’s condition stabilized, she was shifted to the general ward.

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