Twelve-year-old Nupur returned home yesterday, after a successful minimally invasive cardiac surgery at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), the first of its kind at any government hospital.
Hailing from Sujanagar upazila in Pabna, Nupur was suffering from Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) -- a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of heart.
A team of 10 doctors, headed by Dr Ashraful Hoque Sium, conducted the operation at the NICVD on August 25.
They carried out the two-and-a-half-hour surgery, which costs Tk 5,000.
After successfully completing the surgery, an elated Dr Sium said, “I am speechless! I used to dream of doing something big for the people… With the support of the honourable prime minister, I’ve been able to materialise that dream. I’m very happy and thankful to all.”
In minimally invasive cardiac operations, surgeons perform heart surgery through small incisions in the chest as an alternative to open-heart surgery. Surgeons do not cut through the breastbone, instead operateing between the ribs, which may result in less pain and a quicker recovery for many people.
It allows surgeons to use techniques that limit the size and number of cuts, or incisions that they need to make. It is typically considered safer and quicker than a traditional heart surgery.
Before NICVD, only National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh (NHFB), a private hospital in the city’s Mirpur, conducted such surgeries and they charged Tk 2.5 lakh to Tk 3 lakh for each, said Dr Sium, an assistant professor at NICVD.
Dr Sium said NICVD would operate this kind of surgery regularly as the essential equipment are available at the hospital. “We’ll also train other surgeons in this regard,” he said.
He extended his sincere thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for allocating special budget to NICVD for importing the instruments.
About the initiative, Dr Sium said they had planned to introduce the surgery at NICVD about one-and-a-half years ago.
“There were some issues, including funding and approval from higher authorities, which needed to be addressed. The prime minister’s directives in this regard made things easier for us. She encouraged us to go ahead and ensured all kinds of support,” he said.
About the risks involved and success rate of a minimally invasive surgery, the physician said, “It’s a complicated surgery as it’s conducted through several tiny cuts. So surgeons need to be very careful about avoiding injuries. However, this surgery makes patients feel more comfortable during their recovery period.”
Dr Sium said a minimally invasive surgery is an advanced form of an open heart surgery. “It is being practiced in many countries across the world for the last three-four years.”
Dr Sium said they advised Nupur to come to the hospital again for follow-up.