A Chronicle of Coronary Bypass Surgery in India
Surgeries in our government-run institutions and a few private hospitals emphasised on diseased heart valves and congenital heart conditions.
That was when the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, chose the Vijayadasami day in 1983, to perform its first open heart operation. This soon set off a chain reaction in the country – resulting in 15-20 per cent more cardiac surgeries being done every year following that!
Ushering in a culture of new cardiac surgery was certainly not easy. Inspired by the Chairman Dr Prathap C Reddy’s vision and pioneering spirit, the Apollo Hospitals had its task cut out. The first challenge was to assemble competent professionals to provide results comparable with those being reported from western countries.
“Hum kisise Kum nahin” (we are lesser to none) was the slogan then – and
patient-friendly services, caring attitude and affordable packages also were viewed as essentials. The response meanwhile, was overwhelming.
Patients started streaming into the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, from all corners of India – and also from neighbouring countries. In less than two years of the hospital’s inauguration, more than 1000 bypass surgeries were done! The rest of the country could not help but sit up and notice. This encouraged hospitals all over India to invest in cardiology and cardiac surgery, despite the heavy expenditure involved – and led to a rapid increase of cardiac-related services in our nation.
- In the two decades that followed, nearly 30,000 heart operations have been performed at the Chennai Apollo Hospitals.
- Of these, nearly 22,000 have been coronary bypass operations.
- Until about seven years ago, these operations were being done by conventional techniques involving the use of the heart-lung machine.
- At present, nearly 90 per cent of coronary bypass operations are done using the beating heart technique.This brought about a very significant reduction in post-operative complications and a reduction in hospital mortality to around 0.6 per cent.
- Due to Apollo Hospitals’ pioneering efforts, the national statistics for heart surgery has seen a quantum rise.Prior to 1980, coronary bypass surgery formed less than five per cent of the cardiac surgeon’s workload. At present,it is over 70 per cent.
With a reported incidence of around 12 per cent in the urban adult population in India and an estimated 60 million individuals suffering from coronary artery disease, the 72000 procedures that we are currently doing are woefully inadequate.
What we need now is, to acknowledge the unfortunate truth that being an Indian also puts us at risk for developing coronary artery disease. The way ahead is, to realise that the only remedy is to greatly reduce that risk with a sensible lifestyle, modified dietary habits, regular exercise and periodic medical check-ups.
|10 Tips for CaregiversAs a caregiver, you may think your first responsibility is to your loved one, but it is really to yourself. Did you know that caregivers may have increased blood pressure and insulin levels, impaired immune systems and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease among other adverse health outcomes? Research also shows that many caregivers are clinically depressed and often suffer from sleep deprivation and poor eating habits