Surgeons at National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) in the capital have successfully completed a minimally invasive surgery, first of its kind at a public hospital in the country, on a 12-year-old girl named Nupur. A team of 10 surgeons, led by Dr Asraful Hoque Sium, chief of the cardiac surgery unit-9 at the hospital, completed the two-hour operation at 11:30am on Sunday.
A minimally invasive surgery allows surgeons to use techniques that limit the size and number of cuts, or incisions that they need to make. It is typically considered safer and quicker than a traditional heart surgery. Before this, only National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh (NHFB) in the city’s Mirpur had conducted such surgeries at a cost of Tk 2.5 lakh-Tk 3 lakh each, sources said.
In case of the NICVD, each patient in a paying bed has to spend only around Tk 5,000 for the operation. For a patient occupying a non-paying bed, the procedure is done free of cost. According to doctors, the cost of a traditional open heart surgery ranges between Tk 2.3 lakh and Tk 8 lakh at a private hospital. Dr Asraful, assistant professor at the NICVD, said a minimally invasive surgery is an advanced form of an open heart surgery.
“It is being practised in many countries across the world for the last three-four years. We have successfully carried out such an operation on Nupur. We are hoping she would be released from the hospital within next three days,” he told The Daily Star yesterday. Nupur from Pabna’s Sujanogor upazila was suffering from Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) — a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of heart. About the initiative, Asraful said they had planned to introduce the surgery at the NICVD about one and a half years ago.
“There were some issues, including funding and approval from the higher authorities, that needed to be addressed. The prime minister’s directives in this regard made things easier for us. She gave us the go-ahead and ensured all kinds of support.” About the risks involved and success rate of a minimally invasive surgery, the physician said, “It is complicated surgery. It is conducted through several tiny cuts in the patient’s skin. So surgeons need to be very careful about avoiding injuries. However, this surgery makes patients feel more comfortable during their recovery period.”
He said the NICVD would conduct such surgeries regularly and would also train up surgeons. Chief Cardiac Surgeon of NHFB Prof Dr Farooque Ahmed and Associate Professor Dr Prasanta Kumar Chanda were present during the surgery at the NICVD.