Doctors perform bypass surgery on 20-month-old boy

May 29th, 2009 - 6:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Stawan Bijal Shah is now likely to live a normal life after undergoing coronary artery bypass for a rare heart disease in a Delhi hospital, with the 20-month-old possibly becoming the youngest patient in the world to undergo this surgery, doctors said.
Shah underwent a coronary artery bypass surgery Monday after he was found to be suffering from the Kawasaki disease, which damaged his heart. He is now recuperating in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Batra Hospital here where doctors believe that Stawan is the youngest child in the world to undergo such surgery.

“Kawasaki is an extremely rare disease among children. It causes thickening and dilation of arteries resulting in severe blockage,” said S.C. Bhan, director cardiac unit, Batra Hospital.

“The cause of this disease is unknown but it is extremely rare and results in inflammation of vessels. If it is left unattended or untreated, the arteries can rupture leading to heart attack or even cardiac arrest,” he told IANS.

Refuting the belief that only adults face coronary problems, Bhan said: “It is a misconception that only adults face cardiac problems and undergo bypass surgery. I have operated adolescents for the same.”

The surgeons faced a series of technical problems while operating on the 20-month-old baby.

“One of Stawan’s arteries had 100 percent blockage while the other had 80 percent blockage. Since this is our first time operating a 20-month-old baby, we had problems deciphering the size of his arteries,” he said.

The doctors are now very hopeful that Stawan will lead a perfectly healthy life.

“Fortunately Kawasaki is a self limiting disease. Stawan is responding well to post operative treatment. We are certain that he will lead an absolutely normal and healthy life. Infants can heal quickly and their growth potential is greater than adults,” he said.

The doctors at the Batra Hospital even intend to start a a medical journal on this rare case to facilitate further studies.

“This is a rare disease and a rare case altogether. This is also the first time we have conducted a bypass on a 20-month-old baby. We will write a medical journal which will provide all the details about this unique experience,” Bhan said.

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