Rare cardiac surgery performed

A rare cardiac surgery using ‘physiological pacing’ method was performed on a 56-year-old man from Theni after it was diagnosised that he had slow heart rate and poor pumping capacity of the heart.

P. Shanmuga Sundaram, Electrophysiologist and Interventional Cardiologist of Velammal Hospital, said a team of doctors activated the heart by placing a pacemaker in the left bundle branch to stimulate the normal ventricular system of the heart. “Usually pacemakers are placed only in the right ventricle. This could potentially worsen cardiac functioning by about 10% to 20%. It may also reduce pumping,” he said.

By passing electrical impulses through a ‘normal electrical circuit,’ Dr. Sundaram said, he traced the natural course of the heart without worsening cardiac pumping activity.

Only a few hospitals across the world practise this method. All materials, including sheet and tubes used for the procedure, had to be imported, particularly from the United States of America. Doctors had to be trained in China and the USA to understand the procedure better.

“Physiological pacing is the future and it is going to protect cardiac function. The patient is healthy and is showing signs of improvement,” he said.

Chairman of Velammal Educational Trust M.V. Muthuramalungam said that for this surgery to be made affordable to the public, the Tamil Nadu Government must be included in treatments covered under Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme.

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