Old woman lives after getting valve from a cow’s heart

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A valve from a cow’s heart gave a new life to an Hyderabad-based woman, 81. The minimally invasive procedure was performed at Frontier Lifeline Hospitals in Chennai on 11 July.

“She approached us in April complaining of breathlessness among others. Tests showed that she suffered from narrowing of the aortic valve,” said interventional cardiologist Dr R Anantharaman.

Dr Anantharaman, who performed the surgery, said 11 years ago, she underwent a valve replacement surgery, but symptoms of the heart began to show this year.

“The operation is an alternative to traditional open heart surgery, especially for those suffering from severe aortic valve stenosis and belonging to a high surgical risk group,” said Dr KM Cherian of the hospital said.

Though she approached several hospitals, she could not get any positive response, sad Dr Anatharaman. He said, “The procedure was challenging to say the least, considering that she underwent treatment for breast cancer a few years ago. This made her a high risk case. So we used a bio-prosthetic valve made from the cow’s heart and got it fixed by inserting a catheter.”

The three-hour surgery was challenging due to the fact that the old woman already a valve replacement surgery and radiotherapy (treatment for breast cancer),” said Dr Anantharaman. The patient’s condition stabilised after the surgery, he added.

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