Health

Pakistan’s first mechanical heart transplant successfully performed

The country’s first-ever mechanical heart transplant was carried out at the National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD) on Monday.

The use of this technology is unprecedented in Pakistan’s history and Nafeesa Begum, 62, is the first patient to undergo this complicated surgery and receive a mechanical heart aid.

The Administrator of NICVD Dr Hameedullah Malik said that a patient can undergo this procedure only if their other organs are functional. “Begum’s heart was only 15 percent functional prior to the surgery but all her other organs were working fine.”

He added that the patient is doing fine, and would be shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) soon.

The procedure was performed by Dr Pervez Chaudhry, who joined the NICVD team on the request of Head of NICVD Dr Nadeem Qamar, along with his team that consists of eight experts.

Introducing mechanical heart transplant technology was an initiative taken by Qamar. “We had been working on structuring this department for about six months now,” Dr Malik added.

When asked what’s the difference between a regular heart transplant and a mechanical one, Dr Malik explained: “A regular heart transplant is as though inserting a new heart in the body but in a mechanical heart transplant the organ is not replaced, in fact, the valve or the pumping mechanism is fixed by using a device. This device then pumps blood across the body”.

The procedure costs over a crore and at the moment, it’s funded by donors and NICVD, Dr Malik added.

In April, former goalkeeper of the Pakistan hockey team, Mansoor Ahmed was going to receive mechanical heart aid. “While things were still in the pipeline, Ahmed had another heart attack and passed away before the procedure could be performed on him.”

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