Bengaluru: When a 78-year-old male patient, who had got a stent 10 years ago, returned with the same problem to the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, doctors were worried as the patient had blockages that do not yield to conventional balloon angioplasty.
Although they tried to perform another conventional procedure, it went in vain as the blockages were ‘tough.’ Moreover, doctors were not keen on open heart surgery because of the patient’s age and also because he had already undergone open heart valve replacement surgery prior to the stent procedure.
They were able to help the patient thanks to Excimer Laser Coronary Atherectomy (ELCA), a new tool for treating complex blockages in coronary arteries.
Institute Director C.N. Manjunath, along with a team of doctors, used the new tool on three elderly patients and successfully performed South India’s first laser angioplasty in Jayadeva Hospital on Nov. 10.
“Two of the three patients, who showed re-blockage symptoms of chest pain on minimal exertion, had undergone stenting procedures 10 years ago. All three had tough blockages not yielding to conventional balloon angioplasty. Such blockages, which are not easily opened by conventional techniques, have higher chances of restenosis (re-narrowing) and stent thrombosis,” said Dr. Manjunath. “The laser catheter connected to a laser console emits ultra violet light energy to the blockage segment. This vaporises the hard component of the lesion by photo thermal, chemical and mechanical methods, and facilitates good stent deployment. All of us in the cathlab, including the patient, had to wear glasses as the laser can damage our eyes,” he explained.
Dr. Manjunath was accompanied by Interventional Cardiologists Nimith Shah, T.R. Raghu and L. Sridhar. “The surgery was done free of cost for all the three patients. They are doing well and will be discharged on Monday,” the doctor added.