For the first time in Guyana, a pericardiectomy heart surgery was conducted at the Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital, saving the life of a 27-year-old male, who was reportedly told he only had 48 hours to live.
According to Medical Director and Gynaecologist of the hospital, Dr Madhu Singh, the surgery on Fazil Ghanny, was performed by Dr Jerge Machin.
Dr Singh highlighted that Ghanny was suffering from Constrictive Pericarditis and was being treated at another local hospital. However, when he was informed that he only had 48 hours to live, he contacted the Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital for a second opinion.
According to information provided by the hospital, pericardium is a membranous double layer of tissue which encloses the heart. There is an outer fibrous layer, and an inner serous layer, the visceral pericardium. The visceral pericardium is the layer that adheres directly onto the heart.
Constrictive pericarditis is caused when the pericardium becomes thick and fibrous, preventing the heart from functioning properly.
The thick shell, which would be surrounding the heart in this case, prevents it from expanding when blood enters the right chamber. For very severe cases of constrictive pericarditis, it is essential to undergo a pericardiectomy operation.
Ghanny was initially told that the surgery for his ailment was not possible in Guyana or anywhere in the Caribbean, by the same medical officials who told him his life’s countdown had began.
Fortunately for Ghanny, this was not true as the Cardiac surgeon, Dr Jerge Machin; Interventional Cardiologist, Dr Javier Almeida Gomes and Cardiac Anaesthetist Gabriel Avalos were able to conduct the surgery on the 27-year-old man.
The surgery which was conducted on June 3, 2016, lasted some seven hours, and the patient remained in the hospital for nine days before he was discharged. Ghanny related his story electronically to the reporters who were present at a press conference hosted by the hospital on Friday.
“He stayed in the hospital a total of 18 days. Some of that time was spent when we had to stabilise him, we had to take him off of some of the medication that was harming him, we had to put him on some medication that he needed. Once he was relatively stable, that’s when Dr Machin proceeded to do the interview with him,” Dr Madhu Singh highlighted.