A patient with a rare congenital heart deformity gets a new lease on life, thanks to a successful operation performed by a team of doctors at Kasturba Hospital in Manipal, India.

Pushpa (not her real name), 21, had been experiencing breathlessness and palpitations for some time. But things took a turn for the worse, prompting her to go to the hospital.

Doctors Hashir Kareem and Tom Devasia of the cardiology department examined Pushpa, conducting an ECG, chest X-ray and echocardiogram, among other tests. The results pointed to a ventricular septal defect. In layman’s terms, this means the patient was born with a hole between the heart’s two major chambers (ventricles).  

The hole was, based on the echocardiogram, about 20mm. This was a very unusual size that affected the flow of blood in her heart, causing pure and impure blood to mix from left side to right side.

Pushpa’s doctors were determined to close that hole, using a large 22mm VSD device to perform the corrective procedure. The operation was coursed through the veins of a leg, so they didn’t have to split the sternal bone. It was successfully completed and did not leave a single surgical scar on the body of the patient, who has since been discharged from the hospital and is now recovering fine.

“This was the largest VSD device deployed in our centre and also in this region so far. It is very rare to see such large defects in this age group and amenable for corrective procedure,”said Dr. Devasia. “We are capable of doing more complex procedures because of the clinical strengths and cardiac surgical support and the technologically advanced cathlabs,” he added.