A Unique Pulmonary Valve Replacement Surgery Done

A unique heart prosthetic repair surgery has been executed on May, 4 at the Children’s Surgery National Applied Research Hospital .

For the first time ever not only in Belarus, but also in the CIS countries, surgeons have replaced pulmonic valve of the vitally important organ without open surgery in a young patient. A boy is 12. The surgery was effective. Aleksandra Radkevich, a correspondent, was following up the surgery.

Behind intensive care unit Elena Ponedelko cannot sit still. The diagnosis congenital heart disease was made to her son 12 years ago, when he was a couple of weeks old. During the years he has already experienced seven surgeries on heart, four of them were open, so every next surgery became harder and harder. Elena Ponedelko knows not only precise terms of all diagnosis, but also how long it takes to heal the scars on heart and breast. An alternative to severe traumatic intervention for such patients is endovascular prosthesis (surgery without incisions, through the vessels).

In Belarus such surgeries have been performed only in adults, that is why the work of new equipment and the whole process is being observed by a high-profile surgeon from Milan, who has been developing minimally invasive methods for more than 10 years.

Mario Karminati, the head of Department of congenital heart diseases of San-Donato Clinic (Italy): “Our patient was implanted with a special artificial vessel with a valve that bypasses the blood from one ventricle to another and ensures the proper functioning of the heart. After some time the body rejects it, a new operation is needed. We introduce another valve in the same place, but without cuts”.

The surgery is closely monitored by X-ray. Each of the hundreds of stages is complicated; therefore an emergency case is not ruled out, CPB pump is at hand. Approximately 1000 such operations have been performed around the world. Experts note that this is a small number; therefore, the risks are approached very carefully. Throughout the surgery, an additional team of cardiac surgeons is on duty here, which, in case of complications, is ready to begin open intervention. This method is not suitable for all the patients who need such operations, since there are many anatomical limitations.

Pavel Chernoglaz, the head of X-ray operating room of the Children’s Surgery National Applied Research Hospital: “The valve is installed, there is no contrast of the right ventricle, which means that the valve fully fulfills its function. There was no difference in pressure. The procedure is complex, and this patient has a number of anatomical features”. “In theory the child can be discharged from the hospital even tomorrow”, says the professor from Italy. However, Belarusian doctors have decided to keep an eye on him for a longer time. After all this method is new for them, but it will soon be put on stream.

Konstantin Drozdovski, the Director of the Children’s Surgery National Applied Research Hospital: “This is the breakthrough in pediatric cardiac surgery in the country. These surgeries have never been done. The future is for minimally invasive methods. All cardiac surgeons try to correct heart defects without open surgeries. Last year, we started a large enough program: heart disorders in babies are corrected through punctures”.

Annually,  around 1200 surgeries are performed in children with heart defects, half of them without open intervention, at the Children’s Surgery National Applied Research Hospital. And most often the result is the same as today.

Nikolay regain consciousness after anesthesia. The boy has big plans. And the rhythm of his heart is accelerated only in anticipation of swimming lessons. Nikolay Ponedelko, the patient: “I want to run, play, I dream to swim”.

Perhaps the opportunity to put throught these plans is the main result of work of surgeons.


©Telekanal ONT