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Endoscopic surgery brings hope to heart patients

Update: April, 10/2013 - 13:00
Doctors from the Ha Noi-based Bach Mai Hospital conducted the country's first successful endoscopic surgery on a man with mitral valve regurgitation.

HA NOI (VNS)— Doctors from the Ha Noi-based Bach Mai Hospital conducted the country's first successful endoscopic surgery on a man with mitral valve regurgitation.

While a normal surgery involves a 20-30 centimetre incision along the breastbone and requires significant recovery time, the endoscopic surgery is far less intrusive.

Although the technique has been widely practiced in France, Germany, India, China, Singapore and other countries, it had yet to be introduced into Vietnamese hospitals.

Duong Duc Hung, head of the Heart Surgery Division, said that the patient –Doan Ngoc Thong, 38, from the central province of Thanh Hoa's Thanh Hoa City – was hospitalised on March 18 in serious condition with difficulty breathing and chest pains.

Thong first suffered mitral valve regurgitation 10 years ago. In the past two years, his condition worsened to the point where he could barely walk.

"Installing an artificial cardiac valve was the only way to save Thong. Otherwise he would have died from heart failure," said Hung.

Patient –Doan Ngoc Thong, 38, from the central province of Thanh Hoa's Thanh Hoa City.

To conduct a normal cardiac valve replacement, doctors make an incision along the patient's breastbone, break the bone and then suture the bone with iron yarn after the surgery. It takes three to four months for the bone to heal.

"The patient faces a high risk of breastbone bleeding and infection and a long scar. In fact, many female patients do not dare to get married after the surgery as they feel ashamed of the ugly scar," the doctor said.

With only two five-millimetre holes and a three-centimetre incision, endoscopic surgery solves these problems.

"The patient will lose only a little blood and suffer less pain and the incision will take a shorter time to heal," said Hung.

The surgery's success means more hope for patients, as more and more people in the country suffer from heart diseases.—VNS File Photo

After a normal surgery, the patient experiences serious pain the fourth day after the surgery and must use strong pain relievers. But after the endoscopic surgery, he or she can sit up on the fourth day after the surgery, walk slowly and use normal pain relievers.

At about VND40-45 million (US$1,900-2,100), the endoscopic method costs the same as the traditional surgery.

Thong's endoscopic surgery lasted for three hours – two hours longer than the normal one.

He was conscious right after the surgery and six hours later he was released from the breathing machine. Four days later he could walk by himself and was discharged from the hospital on March 28, only five days after the surgery.

After the normal surgery, it takes 10 days for the patient to be well enough to leave the hospital.

Professor Nguyen Lan Viet, director of the Heart Institute under the Bach Mai Hospital, said that endoscopic surgery had already become accepted practice in digestive and urinary surgery, but this was the first time it was applied to heart surgery.

"The surgery's success means more hope for patients, as more and more people in the country suffer from heart diseases," said Viet.

Every year the Heart Institute's Heart Surgery Division conducts about 1,000 heart surgeries. — VNS






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