When 55-year-old Vinod Kumar was diagnosed with a blocked coronary vessel, he and his family were immediately worried about the prospects of his recovery as well as the financial costs of the hospital stay and other expenses of the procedure needed to open-up the narrowing artery.
After all, the patient from Ballia town in Uttar Pradesh needed to undergo an angioplasty to correct the 85 per cent blockage in his artery to scuttle the risk of heart attack and angina.
However, doctors at super-specialty Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, led by Dr Tapan Ghose, Director & HOD, Cardiology offered a solution the patient and his family had not expected — a coronary angioplasty that would not need an overnight stay.
There are relatively fewer number of interventional cardiologists trained in the radial approach. It is a difficult approach which needs skill and training. But, we believe it is the need of the hour as we need to reduce hospital stays and costs for patients.
The day care radial angioplasty, as the team of doctors have dubbed it, involved the admission of the patient in the morning and his discharge the same evening “ the first time such a procedure has been performed in India.
This successful day-long procedure not only radically cut the hospital and personal costs of the patient, but also dramatically reduced the hospital stay time.
For such a procedure usually, a patient has to stay in a hospital for a minimum of three days. Vinod, however, turned out to be the lucky first patient in India to have been discharged from the hospital the same day as his procedure was conducted.
Vinod was suffering from breathlessness and experiencing heaviness in the chest, and was recommended angiography. A post procedure diagnosis highlighted 82-85 per cent stenosis (or blockage) and he was advised PTCA angioplasty. However the patient and his family requested for the procedure to be completed in limited cost with a short hospital stay, with no compromise on the quality of the stent used for treatment, says Dr Ghose.
He also highlighted that, People today dont have time. Medical conditions can be a drain on a familys resources. Short hospital stay, less medication, less cost & highly skilled medical professionals is what patients want. Our efforts of making CVD diagnosis & treatment day care are to achieve the same. We hope that by achieving such attributes the fear of machines, hospitals & doctors would diminish, leading to more & more people opting for preventive cardiac checkups.
Dr Ghose and his team therefore decided to address the patients concerns and planned to perform Indias first day-care radial angioplasty.
Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is a minimally invasive procedure conducted to diagnose and unclog blocked or narrowed arteries in a persons heart. Catheters or stents are inserted through arteries into the body to open up the obstructed artery and resume the blood flow. Wrist angioplasty, also called the radial approach allows a cardiologist access to a patients heart through the artery in the wrist unlike the more traditional femoral approach which requires a catheter to be inserted into the heart via the femoral artery in a patients groin.
Radial angioplasty, or angioplasty through the wrist, which was done in this case, is relatively safer and more cost effective than the traditional method of approaching the heart through the femoral artery in the groin. This approach cuts chances of complications and reduces the quantum of bleeding, enabling a faster recovery. It also allowed the patient to be discharged on the same day as the procedure was conducted, reducing duration as well as cost of stay.
Despite it being a relatively safer and faster procedure, radial angioplasty is still performed by only a limited number of cardiologists in India. In fact, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon is among the very few institutions in the country whose entire team of cardiologists is equipped to conduct the life-saving trans-radial approach to angioplasty.
There are relatively lesser number of interventional cardiologists trained in the radial approach. It is a difficult approach which needs skill and training. But, we believe it is the need of the hour as we need to reduce hospital stays and costs for patients and also make angioplasty a safer procedure, says Dr Ghose.
I am thankful to Dr Tapan Ghose and his team for giving a new lease of life to me. I am also grateful to the management of Paras Hospitals, Guragon for supporting me during my treatment and subsequent expense, says Mr Kumar