Medica Group of Hospitals, the largest private hospital chain in Eastern India, at its flagship facility Medica Superspecialty Hospital in Kolkata conducted a rare and critical operation on a 3-year-old girl child with a very uncommon birth-related heart disease. The team of experienced doctors from departments of pediatric and congenital heart disease joined hands together for this complex and exceptional case. Under the supervision of Dr. Anil Kumar Singhi, Senior Consultant and Head, Department of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, the child survived the ordeal which turned out to be, one of the most unexpected recoveries in recent time.
In 2019, while the Bhattacharjee family from Hooghly were cherishing the moment of their first child, they were traumatized to learn that their child had an unusual heartbeat which could be the only sign that she has PDA (Patent ductus arteriosus – a heart problem that occurs soon after birth in some babies, which usually goes away after 72 hours) or a hole in the heart. After a month of frequent checkups in the hospital, the sound did not stop. Post consultation with their family pediatrician, the child was referred to Dr. Anil Singhi at Medica Superspecialty Hospital. Without any further delay, the child was rushed to Medica for treatment. After a thorough diagnosis by the Medica team of doctors, it was learned that the child had an abnormal connection between the two heart chambers. An unusually long tunnel was abruptly twisted backward and linked to the right atrium (the upper right chamber of the heart that receives polluted blood from the body) from the left side of the aorta (the principal artery transporting pure blood from the left lower heart chamber to the body). That abnormal tunnel was draining out blood from three openings of the upper right chamber of the heart which could have resulted in the swelling of blood vessels, or Ischemia (a condition in which the blood flows out resulting in oxygen restriction or reduction) in the cardiac muscle. Due to numerous risk factors associated with the unusual tunnel, it was decided to seal the tunnel after a few months of examination. The entire process got delayed for 2 years due to the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic which was witnessed by the entire nation. After subsequent challenges, on April 5, 2022, when the child was 3 years old, she was eventually admitted to Medica for her due treatment. The anatomy of the tunnel was determined using Echocardiography followed by a Cardiac CT Angiography which confirmed the tube anatomy. On 6th April, various attempts to close the tunnel via the right side of the heart chamber were unsuccessful at first. As a result, the tunnel was determined to be closed from the left side of the heart chamber. The tunnel was successfully closed using a KONAR –MF occluder (a device) through a transcatheter route. The Child was discharged with a very satisfying post-operative evaluation after 2 days (8th April) of the surgery and is slowly getting back to her normal life.
Dr. Anil Kumar Singhi, Senior Consultant and Head, Department of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, said, “The little girl had visited us in an ill state with heart failure symptoms. The diagnosis of the extremely rare condition in the child was challenging. The child required intense medical therapy and close supervision to allow her to grow initially. Managing the distressed family in the COVID-19 pandemic was again a nightmare as procedures had to be deferred. It was an incredibly challenging method due to the difficult pathway, alongside the abnormal tunnel is very rare and uncommon in the World. Transcatheter closure in small children is rewarding for both the patient and the medical team. Worldwide, only a few instances of mainly surgical closure have been reported in the scientific literature. After all the challenges, and difficulties faced, we are extremely pleased to know that the child is doing extremely well, and we wish her and the family the very best in life.”
Mr. Bhattacharjee (the father of the child), stated, “We see the doctors on a regular basis for checkups, and we are really satisfied with the love and care that are given to our daughter. When our child was admitted to Medica, she did not have any symptoms, but her left ventricle was larger due to the abnormal tunnel. In just 2 weeks’ time, her ventricle has already returned to its normal size which proves that she has been healing quickly now. Our hearts are filled with enormous joy after seeing our daughter’s smile and laugh once again.”
Having set benchmarks in patient care, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, which has a world-class comprehensive department for heart failure, at the facility, in Kolkata, is widely known for its excellence in cardiac care has now added another feather to its cap, after successfully conducting the high-risk operation with extensive options for treatment and management of the congenital cardiac disease.