In a groundbreaking medical achievement, a 34-week premature baby girl weighing 1.3 kg has undergone a successful complex open-heart surgery in Visakhapatnam, marking a first for the city. The infant, who was one of twins born prematurely at 32 weeks of pregnancy, faced challenges immediately after birth, unlike her healthy twin brother.
Upon admission, the baby girl weighed a mere 1.2 kg and exhibited breathing difficulties. Dr. Shanti Priya, a pediatric cardiologist, conducted a cardiac evaluation and diagnosed a rare congenital cardiac defect known as Infra-diaphragmatic Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (TAPVC).
Due to the complexity of the condition and the premature age of the baby, it was imperative to wait until the 34th week of age to ensure the lungs had matured sufficiently for the surgery. Led by Dr. Anil Kumar Dharmapuram, the surgical team performed an intra-cardiac repair of TAPVC, a procedure lasting over eight hours.
The surgery involved redirecting and rerouting the pulmonary veins, which were abnormally draining to the liver and the left side of the heart instead of following the normal route. Following the successful surgery, the baby’s condition remarkably improved while in the neonatal unit.
Post-surgery, the infant resumed regular feeding and showed signs of recovery, eventually being discharged from the hospital in good health. This remarkable achievement not only signifies a milestone in medical history for Visakhapatnam but also offers hope to families facing similar challenges in the future.