10-year-old boy youngest to undergo bypass surgery in India

New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) A 10-year-old boy — suffering from a rare genetic condition that led to a deadly heart condition — has become the youngest Indian to successfully undergo a bypass surgery conducted by surgeons at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute here.

Hailing from Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, the boy was suffering from Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) — a very rare cholesterol disorder.

The boy was admitted to the hospital after he complained of chest pain and breathlessness. Medical tests at Fortis revealed that he had suffered a massive myocardial infarction (heart attack) and was in the condition of heart failure.

An angiography was conducted which showed severe coronary artery blockages compromising blood flow to heart muscle necessitating a surgical intervention of urgent Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG).

“The bypass operation at this age is a challenge as it mandates joining small caliber vessels to his heart arteries which are also very minute. The patient’s heart functioning was very poor and we had to select the grafts, which will last for long period of time. The surgery was smooth and uneventful and the boy was discharged within one week,” said Dr Ramji Mehrotra, director, cardio-thoracic vascular surgery at Fortis.

Familial hypercholesterolemia is a rare genetic disorder where the bad cholesterol level remains very high and the liver is unable to remove the bad cholesterol from the blood, leading to artery blockage at an early age resulting in heart attack.

“It occurs one in a million in general population and is a highly unusual case where a child had to undergo bypass surgery at a young age. There is no effective treatment other than surgery in this medical condition because it is genetic,” said Dr Ashok Seth, chairman of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.

The boy has already been discharged from the hospital and is doing fine, the doctors added.

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