Lilavati Hospital recently conducted a rare heart surgery on a 55-year-old woman, who had a history of chest pain and breathlessness. Only her right coronary system was supplying blood to the heart. Her left coronary system wasn't where it should have been. According to medical literature, only around 160 cases of this nature have been reported.
Dr. Pavan Kumar, the cardiac surgeon who operated on the woman said: "She was breathless when she came to us. During investigations we came to know that she had ALCAPA (Anomalous Left Coronary from Pulmonary Artery)--'Bland-white-Garland' syndrome, which is a rare birth defect, seen only among one in three lakh live births."
According to Dr Kumar, while the disorder is rare, those with it surviving till they become adults is rare.
After angiography and MRI scan, it was found that there was lack of blood supply to the left ventricle and left-right shunt. This led to pure blood getting mixed with impure blood.
"This disorder led to poor supply of blood to the heart. So we decided to operate on her at the earliest," said Dr Kumar.
The complex surgery took four hours. "We closed the abnormal opening of the left coronary system in the pulmonary trunk and introduced two separate channels to ensure that pure and impure blood don't mix."
"Usually such patients are operated on when they are just a month old. In adults, it could be complicated, as with problems of atherosclerotic and hardened-up vessels, surgical correction is near impossible," the doctor said.