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A medical miracle with its first heart re-transplant, a rare case of heart transplant performed both before and after marriage.

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Bangalore:  For seven years (2016 – 2023), 32-year-old engineer battled recurrent heart failure, requiring frequent hospitalizations. His journey culminated in a successful heart transplant at Aster Hospitals.

In 2016, due to dilated cardiomyopathy and severe heart dysfunction, with irreversible damage to his heart and no hope for recovery from heart failure, the patient underwent a successful heart transplant. Despite financial constraints, his father and committed partner secured the necessary funds for the surgery, which took place in 2016 without any complications and the patient remained stable until 2020.

Despite facing a 75% survival rate prognosis, the patient and his committed partner remained determined. They married in 2018, embracing the obstacles of post-transplant life together. His wife was the pillar of support and strength throughout his recovery journey.

However, 2020 brought a new health issue. The patient contracted severe COVID-19, requiring intensive care. Fortunately, he made a full recovery with no lasting impediments. After overcoming these struggles, their joy multiplied with the birth of a beautiful baby girl.

The patient’s journey continued to unfold in 2021. Chest pain and backaches led to a new challenge: cardiac allograft vasculopathy, a narrowing of the arteries in his transplanted heart.  Apart from this, a follow-up echocardiogram in 2022 revealed severe biventricular dysfunction, necessitating a cardiac re-transplant. This news meant another transplant was necessary, but the patient, a fighter through and through, faced it with unwavering determination.

Recognizing the complexity of the case,  the cardiologists’ team led by Dr. Nagamalesh U M mobilized to perform a life-saving heart re-transplant surgery. This transformational procedure marked a first in Karnataka and the second in India.

The patient underwent a complex re-transplantation in December 2023. While initial complications arose due to bleeding and rejection episodes, meticulous management with regular biopsies and close monitoring ensured a successful recovery. Complications arose post-transplant. The patient bled due to surgery and blood thinners from his angioplasty. Despite recurrent rejections, meticulous management with regular biopsies and close monitoring kept him stable.

He has now completed 6 months of the second heart transplant with no further complications.

“The past few years have been a medical rollercoaster for me. Finding out I needed a second transplant was a setback, however the exceptional team of surgeons, led by Dr. Ganeshakrishnan Iyer and helped by Dr. Divakar Bhat, Dr. Arul Dominic Furtado, Dr. Madhusudana Narayana, Dr. Prashanth Y M, and Lead Cardiologist, Dr. Nagamalesh U M extended their support throughout my treatment journey.  My family was kept informed about the surgery and all our queries were addressed. I am immensely grateful for their expertise and compassion. They have given me the gift of renewed health and the opportunity to look forward to the future,” said the patient.

Commenting on the Surgery, Prof. Dr. Nagamalesh U M, Lead Consultant – Cardiology, Interventional Cardiologist, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore, and Director – Heart Failure, Transplant & MCS Program, Aster Hospitals, Bangalore, said, “The patient’s post-transplant course included significant bleeding events due to the second surgery and the ongoing requirement for blood thinners and rejections. However, through meticulous monitoring and regular endomyocardial biopsies, these challenges were effectively managed. Importantly, the patient has now achieved a successful 6-month post-operative period with no further complications, demonstrating his remarkable resilience and the invaluable support of his loved ones.”

Dr. Ganeshakrishnan Iyer, Lead Consultant – CTVS Surgery, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore said, “Heart re-transplant was a complex procedure, requiring meticulous planning, exceptional skill from the entire team, and seamless communication throughout the process. I’m proud of the dedication and expertise displayed by every member of the team. This case exemplifies the power of collaboration in achieving the best possible outcomes for our patients.”

Mr. Ramesh Kumar S, CEO – Aster Hospitals, Bangalore, said, “We are proud to mention this is the 2nd in the country and 1st heart transplant in Karnataka. Dr. Nagamalesh and his team’s expertise and dedication not only provided the patient with a second chance at life but also offered hope to individuals facing similar complex cardiac conditions. We wish the patient, a brighter future.”

Aster Hospitals remains steadfast in its pursuit of pioneering healthcare solutions. By seamlessly integrating cutting-edge tools such as Artificial Intelligence with the warmth of compassionate care, the hospital is paving the way for a future where personalized solutions coexist harmoniously with ethical practices. The hospital’s collaborative spirit, manifested through strategic partnerships, cultivates an environment of trust, ensuring that every innovation is meticulously designed to prioritize patient well-being.

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