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India Hospital performs 1st bloodless Bentall Operation on Witness patient

43 year old Mr. Uwen from Nigeria this month for the first time in Asia, was operated upon in a delicate heart surgery.

A team of Cardio Thoracic Vascular and Heart Transplant Surgeons, Dr. Devananda NS, HOD & Consultant – Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery and Heart Transplant , Dr. Murali Krishna, Consultant – Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery and Heart Transplant and Dr. Lalchand H Bangadi, Consultant Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery and Heart Transplant of Manipal Hospitals Bangalore conducted India’s First Bentall Operation.

Mr Uwen, 43-year-old Geophysicist from Nigeria was excessively getting tired of physical exertion for last couple of years.

It worsened so much over the last 2 years that he has to voluntarily quit his job. When investigated, he was found to have severe leakage of aortic valve (one of the main valve of the heart) leading to severe enlargement of his heart, producing heart failure.

He was put on heart failure medication and asked to undergo change of the aortic valve at the earliest.

Uwen on conscientious ground does not accept any blood or blood product transfusion, so it was difficult for him to find a surgeon who would accept him for surgery.

Interestingly, he got in touch with Jehovah witnesses community in India, and he was directed to Dr. Devananda NS, HOD & Consultant, Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery, Manipal Hospitals Bangalore who has experience in treating several Jehovah witness patients for heart surgery.

Sharing more details on the case, Dr. Devananda NS, HOD & Consultant – Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery, Heart Transplant, Manipal Hospitals Bangalore, “Mr. Uwen, was reinvestigated at Manipal Hospital. In addition to aortic valve leak with heart enlargement, he was also found to have gross enlargement of aortic root and early part of his aorta, medically called “annuloaortic ectasia.

This condition requires not only replacement of the aortic valve, but also replacement of the entire aortic root (Bentall Operation). This is a complicated operation and doing it without blood on face of his poorly functioning heart (Ejection Fraction – 35%) which otherwise should have been 55% (in a normal person) was a challenge. After a coronary angiography, he was treated for 2 weeks with iron replacement and erythropoietin injections to build his hemoglobin from 13.5 gm/dL to 14 gm/dL. He underwent Bentall Operation on 03/01/2020, he had a smooth recovery and was discharged within 10 days with a hemoglobin of 10 gm/dL.”

In our knowledge, this happens to be the first case being reported of a Jehovah’s Witness in India. However, Dr. Devananda NS, HOD & Consultant – Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery and Heart Transplant, Manipal Hospitals Bangalore , who has performed heart surgeries in over a dozen of Jehovah patients from 3.5 kg child to adults says,

”This is the second time he has performed this operation in a Jehovah Witness patient.

Apart from meticulous planning the operation, good post-operative care is essential for successfully treating this challenging group of patients”.

Expressing his happiness on the treatment, Mr. Uwen Said, “I have recovered completely and now leading a happy and normal life all thanks to Dr. Devananda and team. The doctors have been supportive throughout the procedure and even my post-surgery follow-ups reports are good. Grateful to the team that they took up this challenging surgery and at the same time keeping up with the sentiments of my belief and faith. I appreciate the efforts and commitment of the doctors.”

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