Doctors at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai performed a valve replacement surgery on a patient with dextrocardia, where organs were a mirror image of the normal. The heart was on the right-hand side, while the liver was on the left-hand side of the patient.
The patient, a 38-year old labourer, had come to the hospital with chest pain. The doctors were surprised when they discovered that he had dextrocardia with situs inversus totalis ” a condition in which the major organs are a mirror image of the normal.
The rare condition occurs in about 1 in 50,000 persons, the doctors said, and can go completely undetected.
In addition, the patient also had irregular heartbeats that needed to be treated.
Doctors said the procedure to replace the valves was tricky and complex.
Dr Mariappan, who operated on the patient, said the case could be the first reported case of a double valve replacement in a patient with this condition in the country.