A transplant survivor now has two hearts at the same time inside his chest after he had a smaller, female donor’s heart connected to his old one.
The 45-year-old hospital patient, Suresh, was suffering heart failure but could not have a conventional single transplant due to high lung pressure.
So what the doctors did was a unique but effective solution: transplant an ‘additional’ smaller female heart into his chest cavity.
Now he has two of the organs beating in tandem in his chest after what is thought to be the first operation of its kind in Asia.
Speaking after the operation on May 31 in Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital, Coimbatore, India, doctors said the surgery was “hard and demanding.”
Dr Prasanth Vaijyanath said: “It was destiny that the patient received the heart from a female donor as it fit perfectly in the cavity, being smaller in size.
“The operation was also genetically fascinating because, now the man will not only have the XY chromosome that all men have, but also will have the XX chromosome heart,” he added.
There are five connections between the two hearts.
Two connections are meant to take in the pure blood while three are to take the impure blood out.
The two connections placed between the left atriums of the two hearts provides assurance that blood can be shared.
“Connecting them with the beating heart was the hardest task and that made this operation very challenging,” Dr. Vaijyanath said.
According to the doctor, the healthy donor heart is working series with the diseased one so that the two can successfully carry out the metabolic activities as one.
The patient’s own heart only has 10 % function and sits next to the new one.
On a less serious note: Is he now allowed to love two partners at the same time?
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