Baby undergoes valve repair within six hours of birth


New Delhi, 29.05.17: A baby girl with blockage in one of the heart valves recently underwent valve repair within six hours of birth at a private hospital.

Such repairs are common in grown-up children but doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH), where the surgery was conducted, said it is a challenge operating on infants to repair the congenital defect because their organs and tissues are very fragile.

“Usually, valve repair is done via the groin but in this case we needed the neck vessels to do the procedure also referred to as balloon valvuloplasty. It involves inserting a thin tube with a balloon at its tip through a blood vessel to the faulty valve in the heart. The balloon is inflated to help clear the blockage,” Dr Neeraj Aggarwal, consultant, paediatric cardiology at SGRH, said.

He said the patient, Advika, had nearly 80% blockage in the pulmonary valve and any delay in repair of the same could have cost her life.

Dr Aggarwal added that Advika’s condition was diagnosed through fetal echocardiography in the fifth month of pregnancy which gave the family time to decide on delivery and approaching the right centre for valve repair. “The message to public is that outcome of congenital heart diseases can be improved by early intervention and foetal echocardiography is an important tool for the same,” DR Aggarwal said, adding that hundreds of children die due to delayed diagnosis of congenital heart defects.