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Kauvery Hospital, Vadapalani Performs Life-Saving Pulmonary Endarterectomy on a 27-year-old-man from Africa

Chennai, 14th March 2024: His symptoms and investigations revealed a serious condition known as Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) – a condition characterised by elevated blood pressure in the lung arteries associated with blood clots originating from deep veins in the lower limbs or pelvis. These blood clots can dislodge and travel in the venous system to the lung arteries. When diagnosed early, this is typically treated with anticoagulation for up to six months. If the blood clots are not absorbed they transform into scar tissue narrowing or blocking the arterial branches supplying both lungs. The risk of developing CTEPH is higher with delayed or under anticoagulation, with repeated episodes of pulmonary embolism, or in some patients with genetic susceptibility to form clots more readily. Once CTEPH is established, the mean life expectancy is less than three years.


With progressive deterioration in his medical condition, the pressure in his lung arteries was over fourfold from normal. At this level of pulmonary hypertension, the right side of the heart starts struggling to pump adequate blood into the lungs. In a remarkable turn of events, a multidisciplinary team led by Dr. Kumud Kumar Dhital, Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery (CVTS) Program at Kauvery Hospital Vadapalani, intervened to save the patient’s life by offering the only curative therapy for this condition. The team included interventional cardiologists, radiologists, intensive care experts, surgeons, and pulmonologists, meticulously assessing the complex situation before getting on to a high-stakes surgical procedure. The procedure, called Pulmonary Endarterectomy involves general anaesthesia, placement on the heart-lung machine, cooling the body down to 20 degrees Celsius and then stopping all blood circulation in the body for brief periods of 20 minutes to surgically visualise and meticulously extract the chronic scar tissue from within the lung arteries.  


At the end of the procedure the pulmonary pressures were reduced to within the normal range. The patient spent minimal time in the intensive care unit before being transferred to a regular ward where he made an uneventful recovery before hospital discharge. He is already experiencing a remarkable improvement in his symptoms and exercise capacity. He can now expect a normal quality of life and prognosis, except for having to remain on lifelong anticoagulation therapy. 


This successful case underscores the expertise and collaborative approach of the medical team at Kauvery Hospital Vadapalani in tackling complex cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions, offering hope to patients facing similar challenges.


Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj, Co-founder and Executive Director of Kauvery Group of Hospitals, expressed his congratulations to Dr. Kumud Kumar Dhital and the entire medical team for their remarkable expertise and dedication. He also commended the patient for their journey from Africa to Kauvery Hospital, highlighting their trust in our institution’s adherence to international clinical standards. Dr. Selvaraj reiterated the hospital’s unwavering commitment to providing care that meets the highest international clinical standards.

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