In a groundbreaking medical achievement, a team of doctors in Bengaluru successfully performed the world’s first minimally invasive (keyhole) cardiac surgery on a Bangladeshi man with dextrocardia, a rare congenital heart defect where the heart is positioned on the right side of the chest instead of the normal left. Dextrocardia occurs in approximately 1 in 10,000 people.
The patient, Yeashin Bhuiyan, 47, was suffering from complex triple vessel disease, an extreme form of coronary artery disease (CAD), characterized by inadequate blood, oxygen, and nutrient supply to the heart due to blockages in the coronary arteries.
At Narayana Health City, Bengaluru, doctors performed the historic procedure by making a small incision on the right side of the chest, marking the first-ever surgery of this kind. The shift from the usual left-side approach to the right side posed significant challenges, leading to modifications in surgical instruments and techniques.
Dr. Raghu M. G., Senior Cardiac Surgeon at Narayana Health City, explained that they achieved this impressive feat by skillfully navigating through the ribs to access the heart without any bone cuts. The procedure involved bypassing all blocked arteries caused by coronary artery disease and was performed on a beating heart, minimizing disruptions.
The patient had been experiencing exertion-induced pain on the right side of his chest for about six months. After a chest X-ray revealed dextrocardia, clinical symptoms confirmed the cardiac origin of the disease.
The surgery took place on June 16, and Bhuiyan’s recovery was remarkably swift. He was removed from the ventilator within four hours and discharged just five days after the procedure.
Dextrocardia’s exact cause remains unknown, but it is believed to be linked to gene defects inherited within families. In many cases of dextrocardia, other organs in the chest and abdomen are also reversed or in a “mirror image” position, known as dextrocardia with situs inversus.
Dextrocardia with situs inversus is associated with less than 10% of cardiac abnormalities and is nearly as prevalent as in the normal population when it comes to coronary artery disease.
While the incidence of CAD in patients with dextrocardia is not well-established, it is suspected to be higher than in the general population. This groundbreaking procedure opens up new possibilities for treating congenital heart defects in unique cases like dextrocardia.