Thursday, August 2, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


New technique saves heart patient
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 1
Satnam Singh 35, a resident of Phagwara had been suffering from restlessness and breathlessness for over the past five years. He visited many doctors but did get any relief, this continued on, but one day he experienced an abnormal heart beat which put him in a serious condition.

A Phagwara based doctor, examined Satnam Singh and described the problem as Hypertrophied Obstructive Cardiomyopathy, a rare heart disease. He was referred to the local Heart Institute and Research Centre for treatment. Dr Raman Chawla, a senior consultant in the hospital treated the patient with a balloon and catheter method.

Dr Chawla while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said, in this illness the heart muscle becomes so thick that it by itself blocked the flow of blood from the heart to the body. In addition, thickness of the heart muscle made relaxation of the heart difficult with the result that blood can not enter the heart cavity itself. Dr Chawla said, “the problem becomes a disease when neither blood can properly enter into the heart nor go out of heart without obstruction. This can lead to a great difficulty in breathing, chest pain, unconsciousness and even sudden unexpected death”.

Couple of years back, the treatment of the disease was only with medicines. Then surgical treatment became popular, but the results were not encouraging because during the surgery, the hypertrophied thickened muscle was shaved off, especially from septum, but it had its own complications. Then, pacemakers were also used for the treatment.

About four years back, a new treatment with balloon and catheter came into the picture. “In this technique hypertrophied or thickened muscle was made to suffer controlled heart attack or myocardial infraction of septum under controlled conditions”, said Dr Chawla.

The heart vessel of Satnam Singh was blocked by injecting absolute alcohol into the heart vessel. This was in contrast to Angioplasty, where the vessel was opened. The injection of alcohol led to a heart attack of septum and resultant thinning of the septum. The pressure gradient decreased from 140 mmHg to less than 40 mmHg.

After treatment, the patient felt a great improvement in his quality of life. He said, “I am feeling as young as a sixteen years old boy. I am happy that my treatment has been a success. My wife and three children feel quite secure now”.

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