After marathon heart surgery ‘PM stable and conscious’: head of surgery team

January 25th, 2009 - 12:29 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underwent a “successful” beating heart bypass surgery Saturday and would take “a couple of hours to respond fully”, a member of the team of doctors that performed the 12-hour long operation said here Saturday night.“He is conscious and stable. It will take a couple of hours (for him) to respond fully. He will stay in the ICU for three days and in hospital for seven-eight days. The surgery was successfully concluded,” K. Srinath Reddy, who is the chairman of the prime minister’s medical panel, told reporters after the marathon surgery.

When asked whether the redo-bypass surgery would restrict the movement of the prime minister, Reddy said : “Why restricted? We have removed five blockages. We expect him to be more active now.”

“The prime minister made himself ready for the surgery now to make himself available well before the elections. The prime minister was taking all care. Therefore (his) diabetes was in control and BP (blood pressure) was in control. We expect that the prime minister will be able to attend to some of his official duties by two weeks and most of his duties by four weeks and he will be fully functional in six weeks,” he added.

Manmohan Singh was discharged from AIIMS Thursday following an angiography Wednesday, but was re-admitted Friday after he felt uneasy at his 7, Race Course Road residence in the morning.

Tests over two days revealed that the 76-year-old Singh, who became prime minister in May 2004 heading a Congress-led government, had multiple arterial blockages and needed to undergo the “coronary artery bypass graft surgery”.

“The PM was wheeled into the Operation theatre at 6.40 a.m. After several preparations the surgery commenced at 8.45 a.m. and the surgery concluded at 7.30 pm. The Prime minister was returned to the ICU at 8.55 pm,” Reddy told a crowd of reporters who had been waiting for the news of the prime minister since morning.

A 11-member team of surgeons from AIIMS and Mumbai-based Asian Heart Institute conducted the surgery under the “overall guidance” of the head of AIIMS Cardio Vascular and Thoracic Centre head Sampath Kumar. Ramakant Panda, vice-chairman of the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, was the one who lead the team of surgeons.

Reddy said the need for the surgery was felt when the prime minister had come for “diagnostic angiography” on Wednesday as blockages were found in coronary arteries.

“For better long-term results surgery was a better option. Three days were given for the effect of the blood-thickening drugs to wear off. Given the number of blockages waiting would have been inadvisable,” he said.

He said that the prime minister has “long-standing diabetes; this is one causal factor for the coronary heart disease.”

Kumar said “it is a proud moment for all of us” and described Panda, who was leading the surgery, as his first student at AIIMS. “He is the man of the moment,” Kumar said about Panda.

Panda said the surgery took time, as the second bypass is much longer. “We took care of all blockages.”

Highlighting the need for the surgery, he said angioplasty is as good as surgery but “surgery is a long term option as there were too many blockages. The operation went on well. The second bypass always takes very long. We didn’t look at the clock,” he added.

“There was no setback while we were doing the surgery. The technique we used was the beating heart bypass surgery,” Panda added.

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