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


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.

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.

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.

“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.