A new heart surgery technique is being worked out at the Bakulev Hospital, giving patients a new lease on life.
At the Bakulev Cardiovascular Centre in Moscow, life often teeters on a knife's edge.
A pioneer in its field, the hospital has been developing surgery that transplants stem cells to rebuild thin or dead tissues in the heart.
RT had the opportunity to film an operation on a 38-year-old woman who has suffered since birth from a heart defect.
“She is sick, even compared to other patients with this pathology,” Doctor Leo Bokeria, Head of Bakulev Centre, told RT. “She is sick, she is blue, she cannot walk.”
The patient suffers from Ebstein anomaly and it is a miracle she has lived so long. Only 25% of these patients see beyond 18 months.
The woman’s tricuspid valve is too close to the top wall of the right ventricle, making it very small and weak. This means the valve cannot function properly so not enough blood is pumped to the lungs. In the majority of cases, it results in death.
Normally, the condition is treated as soon after birth as possible because of its severity. This patient comes from Tajikistan and has not had access to surgery until now, suffering a life of pain.
Despite the complexities of such operations, they have a very high success rate, losing just one patient out of 80.
This operation was no exception.
“The patient was blue, but she will not be blue anymore,” Doctor Bokeria said. “She had a very high level of hemoglobin, it will go down. She won't be an Olympic champion, but I guess she will be doing well.”
Olympic champion or not, it does not matter to this patient: all she wants is to have a baby. Now that life has been given back to her, she will try to create another.
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