‘India’s first’ awake vascular surgery saves nonagenarian

The patient had frequent episodes of falls and giddiness and suffered from hypertension and bronchial asthma for decades.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: A 93-year-old underwent a life-saving surgery after multiple blocks were found in the arteries supplying blood to his brain and 99% blockage found in the right carotid artery.

The patient had frequent episodes of falls and giddiness and suffered from hypertension and bronchial asthma for decades. Doctors at Apollo Hospital performed life-enabling awake vascular procedure, claimed to be the first surgery in India.

They initially did a CT angiogram which showed multi-vessel disease – a high risk for stroke as blood supply to the brain is reduced drastically. They planned to reduce the risk of stroke and increase the blood supply by clearing obstruction in the right carotid artery.

“A carotid endarterectomy was performed under regional anaesthesia to avoid complications from general anaesthesia. The patient was awake and talking during the entire procedure which helped in keeping blood flowing to the brain. Blockage in the blood vessel going to the brain was cleared to prevent stroke. This procedure is called carotid endarterectomy,” said Dr V Balaji, senior vascular and endo vascular surgeon, Apollo Hospitals.

He added that the patient has made a quick recovery. “It has been five months post operation, and he’s doing well,” he pointed out. “This procedure is not for a person who has had a massive stroke. It’s a procedure for someone who has all the initial symptoms of transient ischemic stroke. A carotid endarterectomy helps in preventing stroke.”

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