IJN is first to use bio-ab­sorbable heart con­duit

The Star Malaysia - - NATION - By FA­TIMAH ZAINAL fa­[email protected]­tar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: The Na­tional Heart In­sti­tute (IJN) has be­come the first cen­tre in Asia to use the lat­est tech­nol­ogy in treat­ing chil­dren with con­gen­i­tal heart de­fect, fol­low­ing suc­cess­ful im­plan­ta­tion of the world’s first ever bio-ab­sorbable heart con­duit in three of its young pa­tients this week.

IJN chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and sur­geon Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Azhari Yakub to­gether with con­sul­tant car­dio­tho­racic sur­geon Dr Si­vaku­mar Si­valingam im­planted the de­vice in three con­gen­i­tal heart pa­tients, a pro­ce­dure which has never been car­ried out on hu­mans.

The pa­tients, a girl aged eight and two boys of ages four and six, were among the only seven pa­tients in the world to have un­der­gone this surgery.

“This is a new med­i­cal mile­stone for the coun­try, as we at IJN have suc­cess­fully im­planted a new de­vice in our con­gen­i­tal heart pa­tients. It has never been done be­fore in Asia, and only done at two other cen­tres world­wide.

“Some chil­dren are born with miss­ing or a very small blood ves­sel from the heart to the lungs, so it must be re­placed with a valve con­duit.

“The cur­rently avail­able valve con­duits such as the ones from adult donors are un­suit­able for our pa­tients aged be­low 10, while ar­ti­fi­cial valves made from an­i­mals can be prob­lem­atic as the body may re­ject them and they also need to be re­placed ev­ery few years,” said Dr Mohd Azhari.

The bio-ab­sorbable pul­monary valve (PV) con­duit, fash­ioned out of bio-ab­sorbable poly­mer, was dif­fer­ent from other heart con­duits avail­able on the mar­ket, as the for­mer nat­u­rally dis­solves in the body over time, leav­ing in its place a nat­u­ral tis­sue valve, he said.

The de­vice helps to re­con­struct the right ven­tric­u­lar out­flow for chil­dren with a miss­ing or de­fec­tive pul­monary valve, which di­rects the flow from the heart’s right ven­tri­cle to the lungs.

The bio-ab­sorbable PV con­duit was rolled out by Swedish-based med­i­cal de­vice com­pany Xeltis, with only three cen­tres world­wide hand­picked for the clin­i­cal trial.

The two other cen­tres where the im­plan­ta­tion was per­formed be­fore were Bu­dapest and Krakow.

Only 12 pa­tients world­wide are gazetted to un­dergo the im­plant, with seven pa­tients al­ready suc­cess­fully op­er­ated on and cur­rently show­ing pos­i­tive progress.

The three chil­dren at IJN who un­der­went the surgery on Tues­day, Wed­nes­day and yes­ter­day re­spec­tively, were kept for ob­ser­va­tions at the in­ten­sive care unit for two days, and are now re­cov­er­ing at the gen­eral ward, said Dr Mohd Azhari.

Proud achieve­ment: (Seated from left) IJN chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Ak­mal Arief Mohd Fauzi, Dr Si­vaku­mar and Dr Mohd Azhari show­ing a heart model as (stand­ing from right) depart­ment head and se­nior con­sul­tant car­dio­tho­racic sur­geon Datuk Seri Dr Jeswant...

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