Two Hearts in One Body Likely Possible Soon to Treat Cardiac Ailments: Chennai Doctors

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Two Hearts in One Body Likely Possible Soon to Treat Cardiac Ailments: Chennai Doctors

Doctors in Coimbatore had conducted heterotropic heart transplants earlier this year and left an additional smaller heart in the chest cavity of a patient.

Chennai, Dec 10: Doctors in Chennai are carrying on extensive study on a new way to treat several cardiac ailments, putting two hearts in one patient. Reports claim the studies presently conducted on dogs have shown signs of success, with the second heart supporting the original heart to operate normally. And the doctors have found a spot to place the extra heart, the abdomen.

According to a report by The Times of India, a Frontier Lifeline team has requested the State Transplant Authority’s nod to retrieve ‘misfit’ hearts from donors to carry out similar operations on human beings, not fit for a heart transplant.

The team of researchers presented their experiment to other heart surgeons and Transplant Authority Government Of Tamil Nadu (TRANSTAN) on Tuesday and said they look forward to carrying out trials on humans as well. Transtan member secretary Dr P Balaji said they will forward the recommendation to the government.

As per the general norm, donor hearts with pumping capacity below 30 per cent are rejected by surgeons. Also in several cases, patients with heart failure may not even make it to the transplant due to multi-organ failure. As per the report, in such instances patients require a left ventricular assist device which is implanted to support the weak heart pump blood, which cost at least Rs 1 crore.

With the new procedure, that cost will reportedly be brought down several notch. Frontier Lifeline chief Dr. K M Cherian was quoted by TOI saying, “Instead if we give them an additional heart that is marginally functioning, it can save money and life.” The doctors call this new technique, ‘bio-left ventricular assist device’.

The report also claimed, doctors in Coimbatore had conducted heterotropic heart transplants earlier this year and left an additional smaller heart in the chest cavity of a patient. In such transplants, the surgical risk is also reduced by several times, reports claimed. The new heart does not replace the original heart but supports in its normal functioning.

In their experiment, trials were conducted on two dogs where doctors connected the donor heart to abdominal portion of the aorta and other major blood vessels in the abdomen. However, one of the dog died on the first day and the other lived for 48 hours. During these hours, the dog walked and ate normally. The extra heart was pumping with efficient cardiac output, reports claimed.