Following completion of the first open-heart surgery performed at Health City Cayman Islands, three specialized heart surgeries on local patients are scheduled in the next couple of weeks, the new hospital’s chief surgeon said.
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery was performed for the first time at the hospital about two weeks ago by Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil and his highly specialized team.
Dr. Binoy, the chief surgeon at Health City, has performed more than 5,000 heart surgeries in his homeland of India. In addition to coronary artery bypass grafting, his areas of expertise include complex congenital heart surgeries, and valve repairs and replacements.
He said surgeries he will perform in coming weeks include another coronary bypass, an aneurysm surgery, and a heart valve replacement.
An artificial heart valve replacement is sometimes the only option for patients waiting for a heart transplant, he explained. “This is the only option for them because they won’t get transplants so easily, because a big waiting list is there, and during the waiting period, they can die,” he said.
Although Cayman passed a Human Tissue and Transplant Law last year, currently there are no regulations or practical mechanisms in place to allow organ donations by Cayman residents.
“So many patients are waiting with this problem but have very little resources, so the only option for patients waiting for this heart transplant is this artificial mechanical support of the heart,” said Dr. Binoy.
When conducting a heart valve replacement, the surgeon opens the chest and heart to remove the damaged valve and replace it with an artificial or prosthetic valve.
An artificial heart is a device that replaces the two lower chambers or ventricles of the heart to prevent heart failure.
“It’s like a glorified plumbing job” said Dr. Binoy. “It is battery powered, and you can charge it at night when you’re sleeping.”
He said the artificial heart valve enables patients to return to normal life. “Except swimming and contact sports, they can do everything,” he said.
Dr. Binoy will also perform surgery on a local patient who developed an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which causes the “main pipe” that carries blood to the body to dilate bigger than its normal diameter, a potentially life-threatening event.
According to Shomari Scott, marketing director at Health City Cayman Islands, the hospital has conducted more than 300 consultations since opening in February, and more than 40 procedures or surgeries have been performed.
Dr. Binoy reminds that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world. He noted, however, that these days, “most heart problems can be fixed,” by making certain lifestyle choices, such as getting regular check-ups, giving up smoking, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising.