Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre in Kochi, Kerala has introduced cosmetic heart surgery for children for the first time in India - a procedure that has gained popularity in Europe in the last decade.
Cosmetic heart surgery means cardiac surgery with an alternative approach through minimally invasive procedure. In this case, simple heart surgeries for children are done by a new technique called 'Trans-axillary minimally invasive pediatric cardiac surgery' - through a small vertical incision made below the right axilla or armpit.
‘As conventional heart surgery is done by a vertical incision in the chest by cutting the sternum, i.e., centre of the chest below neck till abdomen, to approach the heart.’
As conventional heart surgery is done by a vertical incision in the chest by cutting the sternum, i.e., centre of the chest below neck till abdomen, to approach the heart. "The advantage of this advanced surgical procedure is that, the incision is not visible either from the front or from back, no major chest muscles are cut and hence the child has no long-term functional problems," said Dr. Brijesh P. Kottayil from the hospital. "No bones are cut and hence recovery is fast.
The incision is kept to less than 5 cms and hence cosmetically appealing and finally even if the child undresses fully, the scar is not visible in normal posture," he added. Dr. Brijesh said further that Amrita Institute is the first hospital in India to embrace the concept of cosmetic pediatric heart surgery. The present approach is more cosmetically appealing, has the potential to speed up patient recovery and reduce the lifelong psychological trauma from a visible surgical scar.
Already six children have successfully undergone this procedure. Dr. Brijesh added that the hospital would incorporate robotic assistance in cosmetic heart surgery for children shortly.