Doctors in Chennai have performed a rare heart surgery on a 14-year-old Sri Lankan teen that gives her a chance of leading a normal life.
Kaveesha Samarakoon was born with her pulmonary valve closed, which led to the circulation of deoxygenated blood through her body, a condition known as blue baby syndrome. She underwent a heart surgery in 2009 where doctors implanted a cow's heart valve and assured her that there will not be any problems for 10 years.
However the valve failed within 2 years and while the doctors inserted a stent to relieve the obstruction, it led to the deoxygenated blood flowing back from the lungs into her heart.
Doctors at Madras Medical Mission then performed a rare surgery, which involved implanting a 'foldable' heart valve through a small incision and then unfolding it once it reaches the heart. "Once it is inside the heart, the valve is unfolded and sewn into place. It is a highly technical procedure, but the patient can walk from the third day on. In case of open chest surgery, the recovery and risks are much more", Dr K Sivakumar, who attended to her in Chennai, said. While Kaveesha will be requiring a follow-up surgery in a few years, it will allow her to lead a normal life back in her home city of Colombo.