A team of doctors at United Hospital ushered a new era in cardiac treatment in Bangladesh as they successfully performed a mechanical heart transplant in a 42-year-old woman on Wednesday – for the first time in the country.
The "mechanical heart" – Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) – was brought from the US and it cost more than Tk1 crore, Dr Jahangir Kabir, chief cardiac surgeon and director of the cardiac centre at the hospital, who led the team, said while briefing reporters yesterday.
Dr Jahangir said the price of the device would reduce if the government provided subsidies.
Dr Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, director of medical service at United Hospital, said the successful heart implant is a massive achievement as this proves that Bangladeshi doctors are capable of conducting mechanical heart implants.
"The patient is doing well and she talked to her family," added Dr Mahbub.
The patient had been suffering from various heart complications – chronic heart failure – for a long time and even after she received treatment at home and abroad, her heart was becoming almost ineffective, said United Hospital in a press release.
It said the only treatment for an almost dysfunctional heart is to replace it with another healthy heart. However, if a healthy heart is not available as well as the heart condition continues to deteriorate rapidly, a mechanical heart implant or LVAD remains the only alternative.
The LVAD implant allows other major organs such as kidney and liver to heal and the patient to lead a healthier life.
The surgery to implant the mechanical heart called Heartmate-3 took about four hours. Doctors hoped that the implant will improve the symptoms of heart failure in the patient.