Bypass Surgery with Just Local Anaesthesia

by Tanya Thomas ,  TNN | 2011-04-01

AHMEDABAD: City doctors on Thursday performed open heart surgery under local anaesthesia - while the patient was awake. It was the first-of-its-kind surgery in the state.

Cardiac surgeon Dr Rajeev Gehlot of Rajsthan Hospital said the patient Jashoda, 45, complained of breathlessness and was diagnosed with 99% blockage in the main coronary artery as well as chronic obstructive lung disease. It was found that if the coronary artery bypass surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, her lungs would not recover and she would be dependant on mechanical ventilation even after operation.

The cardiac team therefore decided to perform the operation using thoracic epidural anaesthesia, which only numbs the body from the neck to the lower thorax, instead of making the patient unconscious. Jashoda was fully conscious and could see if there were any irregularities that occurred during the procedure. Dr Rajeev was supported by cardiac anaesthetist Dr Himanshu Shah in the surgery.

"The operation was technically more difficult as the patient was breathing on her own, and the movement of the chest wall could not be controlled. As a result, I needed to operate in a closed area. Under normal circumstances, the inflation and deflation of the lung can be mechanically controlled," said Dr Rajeev who has performed similar operations in Bangalore.