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Beating Heart Surgery

Mediheal Group of Hospitals marked World Heart Day today at its Parklands branch, Nairobi.
Dr. Swarup Mishra, the chairman of the hospital accompanied by cardiologists Vijaysinh Patil and Sunil Dube said Mediheal’s vision is to make Kenya a high-end destination for complex medicine.
He said in line with President Ruto’s vision of having affordable medicine for all in the country, Mediheal is spearheading cardiological and other advanced treatment in the hospital.
Dr. Mishra said heart surgeries which would have cost double the price outside the country are being done at half the cost in Mediheal Hospital.
“As Mediheal, we are determined to be the best destination of high-end medicine in Africa,” he said.
Among those who have benefited from cardiological services at Mediheal is Brambilla Luigi Carlo, 83.
He lost his breath while jogging in March as he went uphill and thought it was due to old age or lack of enough exercise.
Carlo was diagnosed with a heart condition called aortic stenosis, where the aortic valve struggles to open.
“We did echocardiography on him which confirmed aortic stenosis with impaired heart pumping. So considering his age and heart pumping, we offered him percutaneous transcatheter aortic valve replacement,” Dr. Patil said.
There are four valves within the heart.
The valves open to allow blood to flow through the heart and close to stop blood from flowing backward.
One of the valves is called the aortic valve.
When open, the aortic valve allows the flow of oxygenated blood from the heart into the aorta – the major artery that supplies the rest of your body.
Aortic stenosis occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood through the narrowed valve.
This causes breathlessness and chest pain.
Some people may experience dizzy spells when exercising, which may lead to fainting.
The restriction and extra force required to pump blood cause strain on the heart muscle.
This can lead to fluid in the lungs, swollen ankles, and eventually heart muscle weakness.
If untreated, aortic stenosis usually gets worse over time.
Patil, who leads a team of 20 surgeons in the hospital said Carlo’s operation is good news to the medical fraternity in Kenya.
“As Mediheal, we have done one rare and new case to this continent. It is called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI),” Dr. Patil said.
TAVI is a treatment for aortic valve disease where a new valve is inserted inside the narrowed valve.
Dr. Patil said the procedure was done through the right groin, the femoral artery by inserting a tube.
“We mounted on balloon navigator system and implanted at aortic valve level after pre-dilatation with 23mm mammoth balloon. We implemented a 29mm Myvalve balloon-expandable aortic valve at an accurate position similar to what we do during angioplasty,” Patil explained.
He said the new procedure is less invasive as the chest is not opened.
Journalists from the Democratic Republic of Congo joined the event in marking the day.

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