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Retrograde Cardioplegia

The heart is supplied blood by coronary arteries arising from the aorta and this blood bathes the heart muscle of nutrients, oxygen and then returns back to the aorta as coronary veins, carrying the impure blood back. During a bypass, the blood is replaced by cardioplegia solution. This solution is high in potassium and glucose, there by keeping the heart muscle alive and still enable surgeons to operate on it. Conventionally the cardioplegia solution is introduced through the coronary arteries. In the case of Retrograde Cardioplegia not only is cardioplegia solution introduced through the coronary arteries but it also introduces through the coronary veins (Retrograde). By doing this the entire heart muscle is bathed in energy rich cardioplegia fluid. This results in the heart not knowing that it has been stopped. When the heart muscle has become weak due to blocks and ejection fraction (EF) drops to 30% or less (normal 50% - 70%) this procedure is known to benifit remarkably and patients tolerate surgery very well. They recover faster and they go home healthier.

Cardiac Surgeons of Vikram Hospital and Heart Care practice beating heart surgeries
routinely. However, they stand apart in surgeries on impaired heart where the LV function is less than 35% (normal> 55%). These are high risk patients for surgery. Patients land up in this stage because of delay in seeking treatment or even when advice for intervention has been given, they delay the procedure for fear or for financial reasons. This worsens their survival chances as well as quality of life. To circumvent this problem, the top cardiac surgeons in the world use the technique of “Retrograde Cardioplegia” wherein the coronary arteries & veins are both cannulated and receive cardioplegia solution which keeps the heart alive & well & not even realising it has been stopped. The success rate in such high risk groups is higher than 98.5%. (Superior than the success rate of beating heart surgeries of 90-91% on impaired LV function hearts.). “For all open heart surgery cases where the heart is stopped, our surgeons use Retrograde Cardioplegia, which has proved to be the best option for heart protection with least morbidity and mortality. They have performed the highest number of Retrograde Cardioplegia supported open heart surgeries in the state of Karnataka”, says Dr. Vikram, MD of Vikram Hospital and Heart Care.

 

 

 



 

       

 

 

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