A First-of-its-Kind Landmark Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Saves Dog in India

▴ Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Saves Dog in India
Unlike traditional open-heart surgery, which requires a heart-lung bypass machine, this minimally invasive procedure is performed on a beating heart.

In a groundbreaking achievement, a dog with a complex heart condition successfully underwent minimally invasive heart surgery at Max PetZ Hospital in East of Kailash. This procedure, the first of its kind carried out by private practitioners in the Indian subcontinent, marks a significant advancement in veterinary cardiology.

Seven-year-old Juliet, a beagle, had been suffering from Mitral valve disease for the past two years. Dr. Bhanu Dev Sharma, an interventional cardiologist for small animals at Max PetZ Hospital, explained that Mitral valve disease is caused by degenerative changes in the mitral valve leaflets. This condition results in the backflow of blood within the left upper chamber of the heart, leading to congestive heart failure as the disease progresses.

Juliet's pet parents had been administering heart medications to her for over a year. Their quest for better treatment led them to the United States, where they learned about a new surgical procedure at Colorado State University. This innovative surgery, introduced two years ago, inspired them to seek out similar treatment in India.

On May 30, surgeons at Max PetZ Hospital performed a Transcatheter Edge-to-Edge Repair (TEER) procedure using a valve clamp. Dr. Sharma described the surgery as a "hybrid" approach, combining micro-surgery with interventional techniques. Unlike traditional open-heart surgery, which requires a heart-lung bypass machine, this minimally invasive procedure is performed on a beating heart.

Dr. Sharma elaborated on the procedure: “TEER is entirely an image-guided procedure done under transesophageal 4D echocardiography and fluoroscopy guidance. A small incision is made on the chest wall to access the apex of the heart. Through a catheter, the two leaflets of the diseased mitral valve are clamped together to reduce the leakage across the valve.”

This approach, similar to the MitraClip procedure in humans, offers a less invasive and potentially life-saving option for dogs suffering from Mitral valve disease. Remarkably, Juliet was discharged just two days after surgery in a stable medical condition.

Mitral valve disease is the most prevalent heart condition in dogs, accounting for 80% of all canine heart diseases in India and worldwide. It is one of the leading causes of death in dogs. Traditionally, treatment options have been limited to medications that delay the onset of clinical symptoms and provide temporary relief. However, these treatments are not curative.

Open-heart mitral valve repair surgery, while effective, is highly invasive and only available at a few centers globally. The success of the TEER procedure at Max PetZ Hospital represents a significant step forward, providing a new ray of hope for dogs with this common and serious heart condition.

Dr. Sharma and his team of four doctors traveled to Shanghai last year to learn the TEER procedure. According to Max PetZ Hospital, Sharma's team is the first in Asia and the second worldwide among private practitioners to successfully perform this surgery.

Dr. Sharma expressed his optimism about the future of veterinary cardiology: “The procedure is similar in concept to the MitraClip procedure in humans, which has benefitted and saved many human lives. With the launch of this surgery, it gives a new ray of hope for dogs suffering from this very common heart disease.”

The success of Juliet's surgery highlights the potential for advanced, minimally invasive procedures to improve the quality of life for dogs with heart conditions. As more veterinary hospitals adopt these innovative techniques, the outlook for pets with serious heart diseases will continue to improve.

This breakthrough in veterinary cardiology not only sets a new standard for animal care in India but also underscores the importance of global collaboration and knowledge exchange in advancing medical treatments for all creatures. With continued research and development, the future looks promising for pets suffering from heart diseases, offering them a chance at healthier, longer lives.

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About the Author


Sunny Parayan

Hey there! I'm Sunny, a passionate writer with a strong interest in the healthcare domain! When I'm not typing on my keyboard, I watch shows and listen to music. I hope that through my work, I can make a positive impact on people's lives by helping them live happier and healthier.

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