City docs perform rare heart surgery


Jim aged 58 was on business in India, having travelled from California. On reaching Bangalore the fever that has subsided before his travel flared up again and he was brought to Columbia Asia Hospital on Sarjapur Road. Initially he was treated by the physicians as anybody else with fever would be, and a battery of investigations done to determine the cause. He knew he had a heart valve problem, but was not affected by it and he had just completed a marathon race back home a month before.

Initial evaluation of his heart valve did not show any gross problem though there was a diseased aortic valve. However soon the blood culture had grown bacteria and a reevaluation of the heart showed a very significant new aortic valve incompetence, this meant that a whole lot of the blood being pumped out of the heart was falling back into the heart causing a severe strain on the heart and because of this there was fluid collecting in his lungs and his other organs were not getting enough blood, resulting in the kidney and liver gradually failing.

Now it was apparent that the infection was destroying the valve and the muscle of the heart, and the antibiotics given would not clear the infection unless source within the heart was removed. This meant undergoing a open heart surgery to replace the infected and destroyed valve and its surrounding tissue. This was a tough call for the cardiac surgical team, on one hand if they waited to see whether the antibiotics worked, the kidney and liver failure would worsen making recovery from surgery difficult. On the other hand if they went in and operated, there was a good chance that the valve they replaced would also get infected and patient would be worse off.

However Dr Joseph Xavier, the chief cardiac surgeon, from his vast experience over the last 25 years, felt its better to ward of the post operative organ failure and take a chance with recurrence of infection. The decision paid off, Jim had a successful operation, with the replacement of the valve the heart and kidney and liver functions recovered and Jim returned to the USA.

Here’s what Jim had to say about his experience here, “First of all, I can never thank you and your staff enough for what you did for me while I was under your care. You did an amazing job of taking care of me and for being there for Deb. Had I not been admitted into your hospital and under your care, I truly believe the results would be not have been so positive. Thank you! The doctors told us that you had done an amazing job and had it not been for your actions, I would not have survived.

In fact, one person told Deb (wife) that if I had been in the US at the time, because of the severity of the infection, there is a good chance they would not have performed the operation. I’m not sure what they would have done, but it just makes me grateful that God placed me under your care……………

If I had to spend time in a hospital in India, Columbia Asia was a great place to be. I believe that its the staff that makes a hospital great. You and your staff are what make Columbia Asia a great hospital………

Dr. Joseph, every day when I get out of bed I thank God for you and your staff and for the miracle I’ve experienced because of you. I thank God for the staff here in the US. When I think about the fact that in April, it took 4 or 5 people to help me get out of bed and it took all I had to walk 10 meters from my bed to the door and back. Now I’m running (very slowly right now, but getting stronger). It’s just amazing to me.”


Times Group

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