Zululand Observer - Weekender
OPEN HEART BYPASS SURGERY NOW OFFERED AT MELOMED
Ia continuous effort to ensure accessibility to health care and towards bringing health care services within reach of the local community, Melomed Richards Bay has successfully added yet another offering to its range of multidisciplinary services.
With the first successful heart bypass operation completed last week at Melomed Richards Bay, yet another milestone was achieved in the transformation of the private health care landscape in Zululand.
Mr Yedekar ‘Ram’ Ramkilowan, a 48-year-old male from Empangeni, presented with severe chest pains and shortness of breath.
Dr Sizwe Mthiyane, the resident Interventional Cardiologist, undertook an angiogram which revealed coronary artery disease.
The patient had a severe form of the disease involving the left mainstem artery and was not amenable to percutaneous stenting.
As part of the holistic team approach, the patient was then referred to Dr Sherwin Ramghulam, specialist Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Melomed Richards Bay.
Dr Ramghulam undertook a bypass procedure with the use of only arteries. This has shown to prolong the life of the graft with better long-term outcomes, compared to vein grafts.
His surgery was uneventful, and he was extubated the day after surgery.
Dr Ramghulam explained the coronary bypass procedure:
‘Coronary bypass surgery redirects blood around a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in one’s heart to improve blood flow to the heart muscle.
This provides prompt treatment for patients with cardiac emergencies where time is of the utmost essence.
‘The procedure involves taking a healthy blood vessel from the patient’s leg, arm or chest and connecting it beyond the blocked arteries in one’s heart.
‘The risk of developing complications is generally low, but it depends on the patient’s health before surgery.
‘The risk of complications is higher if the operation is done as an emergency procedure or if the patient has other medical conditions, such as emphysema, kidney disease, diabetes or blocked arteries in the legs (peripheral artery disease).
‘Coronary bypass surgery generally takes between three and six hours and requires general anaesthesia. The number of bypasses one needs depends on where in the heart and how severe the blockages are.
‘Most coronary bypass surgeries are done through an incision in the chest while a heart-lung machine keeps blood and oxygen flowing through the body.
‘The surgeon takes a section of healthy blood vessel, often from inside the chest wall or from the lower leg, and attaches the ends above and below the blocked artery so that blood flow is redirected around the narrowed part of the diseased artery.
‘After completing the graft, the surgeon will restore the patient’s heartbeat, disconnect him or her from the heart-lung machine and use wire to close the sternum. The wire will remain in the patient’s body after the bone heals.
‘The long-term outcome will depend in part on taking medication to prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, helping to control diabetes as directed and by following healthy lifestyle recommendations,’ said Dr Ramghulam.
Melomed Richards Bay boasts the only comprehensive cardiology/cardiothoracic centre of excellence in northern KZN with a 24-hour service.
‘The centre caters for all patients’ needs and reduces the inconvenience on patients and their families of travelling to Durban,’ said Melomed Hospital Manager Randal Pedro,
‘We are proud to have shown yet again our commitment to the local community by opening these much-needed health care services and specialised centres of excellence.
‘We are very proud of our medical team, which includes cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Ramghulam and Dr Mthiyane (interventional cardiologist) supported by our dedicated trained nursing practitioners.
‘Our doctors work as a team and have many combined years of medical experience,’ Pedro said.
‘The patient is recovering well and is under continuous observation by our experienced medical team.’