Heart attack patient undergoes rare life-saving procedure usually done for dissolving kidney stones - GulfToday

Heart attack patient undergoes rare life-saving procedure usually done for dissolving kidney stones

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Dr. Lochan with the patient.

A 68-year-old Indian man suffered a severe heart attack early this September. After being rushed to a nearby hospital, the doctors discovered a 90% arterial blockage and recommended coronary bypass surgery. However due to his comorbidities the doctors declined angioplasty as deemed too risky in their opinion.

The patient was transferred to Al Zahra Hospital Dubai where the cardiology team assessed the patient and concluded that he could be managed equally well without bypass surgery.


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“I was not mentally ready to go for a bypass surgery especially after the doctors informed me of the risks associated with my condition. I also knew that if something was not done urgently, I would have not survived. I am grateful to the doctors and everything they have done for me. I owe them my life," Jayseena said.

In an attempt to save his life, the Interventional Cardiology team at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai performed a procedure called lithotripsy, a time-tested technique for kidney stones in practice for more than three decades. A modified miniaturised delivery system mounted in a coronary balloon catheter is available in the UAE, after trials in the west. Dr. Rajeev Lochan, Dr. Behrad Elahi and Dr. Amer Sherif, leading cardiologists at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai, performed this procedure using a catheter for opening a 3-cm long calcified severe block/narrowing in heart artery successfully. Intra Vascular Lithotripsy (IVL) shockwave therapy cracked open the calcification solid like a rock. Further testing like echocardiograms confirmed no damage to heart functioning post procedure.

“This novel technique not used very often, was painless, the patient was fully awake communicating with the medical staff around him, while a catheter was inserted in his heart arteries and shockwaves are used to break the calcifications. We had a complete team of cardiology experts assist this procedure from nurses to doctors and technicians all holding significant cardiology training and experience.”

Jayseena recovered quickly. He felt comfortable enough to go out the same day, but he was kept for monitoring and observation for two days and then discharged. His family and he were relieved of stress of going through major heart surgery.

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