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500 CARDIAC SURGERIES IN FIVE MONTHS

A 13-day-old baby Talitha Sherin was operated for congenital heart defect at our hospital and with this we had completed 500 cardiac surgeries in a span of five months.

Sherin, from Tirunelveli was suffering from a defect wherein the arteries carrying pure and impure blood were interchanged. The child underwent an arterial switch operation at the hospital.

Frontier Lifeline provided all the services including surgery, post-operative care, food and accommodation totally free of cost

PERMANENT PACEMAKER IMPLANTATION IN LOW-WEIGHT BABY


A 2-month-old male baby weighing 1.4 kg, born pre-term by emergency LSCS was brought to Frontier Lifeline with complaints of jaundice and loss of weight. Clinically, the child appeared to be in congestive cardiac failure with a heart rate of 72 beats per minute. 3D echocardiography revealed a large perimembranous VSD, PDA and hypoplastic aortic arch.

The child underwent surgical closure of the VSD and implantation of a permanent pacemaker. Internet search of medical literature suggests that this child may be the lowest weighing patient reported to have a permanent pacemaker implantation in the world.


PALESTINIAN BABY GETS NEW LEASE OF LIFE

Khaled, just 46-days-old, was diagnosed with a rare complex congenital heart disease called Truncus arteriosus where the pulmonary artery and aorta arise from a common trunk. The team of doctors at Frontier Lifeline successfully performed Gore-Tex patch closure of the sub truncal ventricular septal defect + restoration of RV - PA continuity on 25th March 2005, using a Bovine Jugular Vein conduit to replace the PA. This is the only centre in the whole of Australasia and the second after a bio-technology firm in Germany, to have this unique facility available at an affordable cost.

Khaled is the only boy baby in the family. In order to save the life of the baby, the parents made the long journey to Frontier Lifeline, where their son was given a new lease of life.

THIRD TIME CARDIAC SURGERY FOR KARACHI GIRL

Smiles are back on Karan's face Karan Bari with her family and Dr. Prem Sekar

Thirteen-year-old Karachi girl, Karan Bari, born a blue baby to a Pakistani father Tariq Bari, and Filipino mother, Zahra, was diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease (Tetralogy of Fallot with severe stenosis of LPA and severe pulmonary regurgitation). She underwent her first surgery in 1992 in Bahrain at 8 months of age, then a second surgery at 3 years of age. Her family moved to Karachi in 1999.

She became symptomatic and required immediate medical attention. She was referred to Bangalore, where they were informed that her ailment was not easily treatable in India. They went back to Bahrain, where she was referred by a doctor to Dr. K.M.Cherian. He replaced the pulmonary valve with a tissue valve and her tricuspid valve was repaired Re-do surgery anywhere in the world has its own risk. This patient was successfully operated on for the third time.

INSURED IN THE U.S., TREATED IN INDIA

In a twist to the win-win outsourcing game, a U.S. insurance firm has extended cover for its Chicago client undergoing treatment in Frontier Lifeline hospital.

The ball was set rolling when the Chicago-based Indian parents of 3-year-old Rakesh Ram Magesh expressed a preference to treat their child at Frontier Lifeline.

The insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, eventually agreed to foot the bill, but not without some thorough checking of the institution. The firm even sent a team to Chennai to inspect the facilities of the institution .They gathered details such as the total number of paediatric surgeries performed and intrinsic details like what the success rate was, after which the sanction came through. The parents were asked to bear the flight charges alone. The parents are basically from Chennai and had heard about the hospital from many sources. Magesh underwent closure of ventricular septal defect, PDA ligation and aortic valve repair. His post operative course was uneventful

Dr. Cherian points out in this context that the expectations sparked by word of mouth are harder to match than those generated through standard promotions. He also says that the same surgery in a U.S. hospital would amount to 50,000 U.S dollars, whereas in India it is only 10% of that.

FOR KARACHI CARDIOLOGISTS, CHENNAI IS FIRST LINE OF REFERRAL

Convalescing Saud receiving the tender loving care from Dr K M Cherian

Ashraf, who works in a pharmaceutical company in Pakistan, has earned a reputation for knowing which hospital to visit to heal children with failing hearts.

His own son, Saud Muhammad, thirteen-years-old, twice underwent open heart surgery for DORV, VSD and PS. He was under regular follow-up and his echo revealed high gradient at the homograft site.

He underwent RVOT reconstruction with gortex patch and pulmonary valve replacement on 21st February 2006. His post operative course was uneventful.

Fayaaz Ahmed, the 11-year-old son of a pharmacist from Afghanistan, is the 5th child who was detected with VSD and PDA.

His father said that he knew there was something grossly wrong with his child's heart, so he was referred to Pakistan for detailed investigations. The diagnosis eventually came 5 years later by which time the consultant cardiologists in Pakistan decided that there was no more time to waste and referred him to Frontier Lifeline for further management. At Frontier Lifeline he underwent successful VSD patch closure and PDA ligation.

ALARM OVER A HOSPITAL BOUND SUPER BUG BACTERIA BRINGS A PATIENT FROM THE U.K. TO FRONTIER LIFELINE

Doctors believe that the MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) scare in the U.K. could become the newest trigger for medical tourism. More than the huge waiting list for treatment in the U.K. or the charm of high quality low-cost treatment in India, it was alarm over the hospital-bound antibiotic resistant super-bug bacteria that brought a British patient all the way from the U.K. to Chennai.

Bernard Wayne Barker suffered from a severely leaking mitral valve which inhibited his ability to walk briskly or climb stairs. When doctors at Ipswich in Suffolk recommended a valve repair, Mr. Barker began to weigh his options. Due to the much publicized prevalence of MRSA within the U.K. National Health Services, he expanded his options by consulting friends and surfing the web. This was when two of Mr. Barker's friends, one in Sri Lanka and the other in Mombassa, recommended him to Frontier Lifeline for surgical management. After various e-mails, necessary arrangements were made before he finally flew to Chennai.

Dr. Cherian performed the surgery on Mr Barker on 26th January, 2006. His post operative stay was uneventful. He visited a couple of places in Chennai.

EVALUATION PUMPS UP PROSPECTS FOR HEART PATIENTS

After the heart evaluation reports are written up, a number of adults and children could be flying out to India for heart surgery.

This fact was demonstrated by the patients who flew all the way from Guyana to Frontier Lifeline, Chennai. The group is a beneficiary of Kids First Fund, a non-governmental charity organization, in Guyana, that provides help to under-privileged children.

Her Excellency, Ms. Varshnie Jagdeo, the First Lady of Guyana, is the Patron of the organization. She accompanied the first set of four Guyanese children who were successfully operated upon by Dr. K.M.Cherian under the Heart to Heart Programme.

Ms. Jagdeo invited Dr. K.M. Cherian and Dr. Prem Sekar to visit Kids First Cardiac Evaluation Clinic at Guyana between 20th and 22nd of November and hosted them. A total of 300 patients were identified with congenital heart diseases.

This was followed up by a visit in the month of March by the second group of 15 children and adults, who made their way to Frontier Lifeline, under the Heart to Heart Programme. They successfully underwent surgery and returned back home in good cheer. Subsequently there have been regular visits by the children and adults identified during the Evaluation Clinic, who have undergone life-saving surgical procedures.

In U.S. hospitals, the charge for an open heart surgery is US $15,000 - $20,000, whereas in India it costs only US $ 3,000. One more fascinating aspect is that while the same operation is available in Trinidad, Tobago, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, the costs are prohibitive. In India, we have world-class cardiac care at a very attractive price and there are no visa restrictions, unlike many western countries.

This shows that Indian doctors are able to meet international standards. The costs of the operation are affordable and the patients can have their ailments cured at leisure.

There is a large influx of patients at Frontier Lifeline from various parts of the world such as Iraq, Bahrain, Dubai, Sultanate of Oman, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Guyana, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Sri Lanka .We at Frontier Lifeline have taken the initiative to appoint interpreters to bridge the communication gap between our doctors and the patients. These interpreters not only take care of the patient's daily needs, but also explain the medical / surgical management to the patients and their relatives.


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