The Indus Hospital started offering paediatric cardiac services last Saturday after it carried out its first intervention of pulmonic valvuloplasty on an 11-year-old girl. The girl was discharged a day after the procedure was performed.
The step marks the beginning of a new period of paediatric cardiac interventions and surgeries at the Indus Hospital, said its CEO, Dr Abdul Bari Khan. Indus has become the only hospital in the city to perform paediatric cardiology procedures for free. The National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) charges a relatively cheap fee for such procedures.
Aortic valvuloplasty involves the repair of a heart valve using a balloon catheter. The balloon is placed into the aortic valve, which usually becomes stiff due to a number of reasons, including a buildup of calcium. The balloon is then inflated, so as to expand the size of the valve and therefore improve blood flow.
Prof. Mehnaz Atiq, a paediatric cardiologist from Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), performed the procedure under general anesthesia, along with Dr Akhtar Aziz and other members of Indus’ cardiac team.
While speaking to The Express Tribune, Dr Atiq, who is working on an honorary basis at Indus hospital, said that cardiologists at the hospital would now be able to perform procedures like those involving closing holes inside and outside the heart, and opening tight valves, in addition to their consulting duties. “Our goal is to perform open-heart surgeries at Indus,” she said.
Nearly 20 patients visit the hospital every week. It used to refer paediatric patients to NICVD, which would charge up to Rs25,000 for pulmonic valvuloplasty according to Dr Atiq. Meanwhile, AKUH is the only private hospital that offers such procedures, but it charges patients anywhere from Rs50,000 to Rs400,000, said CEO Dr Khan. “We aim to establish a complete children’s tertiary care hospital within the next five years, and plan to offer specialised care in fields like orthopedics, nephrology and paediatric cardiology,” added Dr Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.
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