Sunday, February 25, 2024

Heart surgery at 94, still going strong at 101


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Aizawl: A heart patient from Mizoram, who underwent stent angioplasty at the age of 94, cut his 101st birthday cake on Tuesday.

V L Bela, who had undergone angioplasty in 2005 at the B M Birla Heart Research Centre(BMBHRC) in Kolkata to remove a 70-80 per cent blockage in one of the major coronary arteries, is not only the oldest heart patient in India but also the longest surviving one.

The retired primary school teacher, who now lives at Tuikual here, had created a medical history by undergoing stent angioplasty at Kolkata at the age of 94 to become the oldest man in the world to survive stent angioplasty.

Dr Tarun Praharaj, director of Cardiac Catherisation Laboratory and senior interventional cardiologist at BMBHRC, who was behind the success of the rather complex procedure, found Bela to be in excellent condition when he visited the centenarian on his birthday last month.

Praharaj stated, ”I have not come across any medical literature where angioplasty was done on a patient at such an advanced age in India. So he is probably the oldest patient in India to undergo the process and this has been one of the longest follow-up of a patient leading a normal life even at the age of hundred.”

His family members said even after six years of surgery, Bela is active and able to walk around and conduct some basic chores, though he no longer goes regularly to church as he has been advised not to climb stairs.

”In case of Bela, I can say his stress level was very low and he had a good dietary habit comprising mainly boiled food. He also underwent regular medical check-ups and took medicines regularly. But genetic factors may also be involved,” Praharaj said.

Although stent angioplasty of coronary arteries at above 80 years of age are known to cause acute cardiac and non-cardiac complications, like renal failure and bleeding, ultimately resulting in death, a team under Praharaj went ahead with the stent angioplasty and cleared the blockade. (UNI)


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