IJN conducts breakthrough surgery on three-month-old Siamese twin

IJN conducts breakthrough surgery on three-month-old Siamese twin

KUALA LUMPUR: National Heart Institute (IJN) created history by successfully conducting a breakthrough complex heart surgery on a pair of three-month-old Siamese twin after correcting their transposition great artery.

The surgery was conducted by IJN’s clinical cardio thoracic specialist Dr S Sivakumar during the first surgery conducted on 16 May.

The four-hour surgery session conducted on three-month old Aleesa Hana Mohd Saiful Riduan was conducted with the assistance of pediatric cardiology consultant specialist, Dr Leong Ming Chern.

Dr Sivakumar said that the procedure is very challenging as it involved separated twins under the age of one year who were facing multiple health complications involving the respiratory system.

He added that the baby was diagnosed a few days after birth for having one aorta and artery in her heart.  This condition differed from normal individuals who had two arteries.  The heart too was upside down.

Checks indicated the lack of artery to the lung that carried oxygenated blood that resulted in the baby turning blue.

“Since the baby was instable due to wounds incurred while separating its pair was unhealed, we advised the experts in Likas Hospital to fix a stent and place her in intensive care unit (ICU).

“At the same time the baby had to be given breathing aid via machine. Due to prolonged pressure, the left lungs swell and the right lung shrunk to the point that it did not function.”

“After the baby stabilized, the baby was flown to IJN for further treatment,” he said to the media.

Dr Sivakumar also said that the arterial switch operation was done to correct the pulmonary artery valve to the lungs.

“The heart pumps blood through the aorta to the right ventricle and the oxygenated blood is sent to the lungs through left valve of the pulmonary artery.”

“We changed the blood capillary by connecting the arteries to the lungs to enable air into the organs”.

Also present at the press conference was IJN Paediatric and Congenital Heart Centre (PCHC) department head Dr Hasri Samion and his deputy, Dr Khairul Faizah Mohd Khalid who is in charge of the intensive care unit (ICU).

Meanwhile Dr Khairul said that Aleesa Hana was monitored 24 hours while undergoing treatment at the ICU by paediatric cardiologist and trained nurses to observe Aleesa’s lungs.

“The observation was done to ensure that her lungs were stable and monitoring on her swelling subside to normal,” he said.

He said that the patient no longer required respiratory aid and has been moved to normal ward. The baby currently breathes using tubes on her nose.

“Aleesa Hana would be allowed to return to Kota Kinabalu where she would be admitted into the pediatric ward in Likas Hospital until she is truly stable,” he said.