Cuba Saves a Child through Ingenious Heart/Lung Surgical Method

cuba-medicinacardio[1]Havana, Dec 25 (Prensa Latina) Cuban doctors of the Ernesto Che Guevara Cardiology Hospital, in Santa Clara, east of Havana, applied a new, complex combined heart/lung surgery on a child to save his life, reported Granma daily today. The boy Angelo Reinier Suarez suffered from a congenital heart defect (interventricular communication), as told to the daily by his mother, Ayme Gonzalez.

The doctors also detected a moderate valve failure and abundant adenoids to the brink of lung embolism. The child also had the lower lobe of his right lung damaged by histoplasmosis, a fungus-caused illness he suffered two years ago.

As the child’s life faced imminent danger, the experts decided to do a combined surgery.

It was a complex procedure, unprecedented in a child in Cuba, said Doctor Francisco Javier Vazquez, a second grade specialist in cardiovascular surgery.

It should involve total removal of the lower lobe of the patient’s right lung, closing inverventricular communication, removal of the lung valve, and its reconstruction.

With the experience of some 500 minors operated, the team led by Vazquez did an open-heart surgery on the child for some five hours, including heart stop for some 120 minutes.

In the absence of biological valves, the minor’s lung valve was reconstructed using his own pericardium through a surgical technique designed by specialists from the hospital.

There have been no reports of this new procedure in known scientific literature, said Vazquez, the main author of the method, which has already been used to save the lives of two children.

Angelo was discharged from the hospital after evolving favorably from intensive care 18 days later.

“I’m feeling good, ready to go back to school, where my teachers Yalily and Joel are waiting for me,” Angelo told the journal, adding that he also wants to play with his doves and his friends.

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