Safe and Novel Sonic Boom technology to open hard blocked arteries

Occurrence of coronary artery calcification is high among patients with advanced age, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes. Percutaneous coronary intervention of heavily calcified coronary artery remains a significant challenge for interventional cardiologists.  A promising new addition to the armamentarium for treatment of severely calcified lesions in the coronary and peripheral vasculature is the adaptation of lithotripsy technology for vascular calcification.

Although there are several modalities available in treating calcified coronary arteries, Dr. Anil Mishra, consultant, Interventional cardiologist, BM Birla Heart research centre and his team performed a very novel procedure of ‘Shock Wave Therapy to open calcified blocked heart arteries. The arteries were not getting cleared by the usual procedure, so the doctor used the new and uncommon technology of ‘Acoustic Shock Wave’ known as Intravascular lithotripsy which has recently emerged as a beneficial option in treating calcified peripheral artery disease. However, coronary IVL is currently available only in a few centres, studies are ongoing in the safety and efficacy of this technology in treating coronaries.

“An 87 years old man was admitted to BM Birla with 90 percent blocked left Main artery. His left artery was densely calcified. Since rotablation was difficult and has a higher complication rate we tried a standard technique of non-compliant and cutting  balloon angioplasty at first, with an extremely high pressure but it became impossible to open such a blockage. These calcified blocks behave like hard rocks. Even if we put stents, they do not open up well causing very high chance of re-blockages. Such blockages are found in nearly 20% of the patients especially those who are elderly diabetic or have chronic kidney disease or have long-standing blockages or previous bypass surgery. Hence, we decided to go ahead with the Shockwave Coronary Lithotripsy, which is a major advancement over the previous techniques and used for such hard blockages since ultra-high-pressure balloons or rotatory drills are complex to use and carry the risk of rupturing the artery, explains Dr Mishra.

Dr. Mishra elaborates “Such blockages can now be opened with ease and safety to give patients the best results for the long term. The sonic pressure waves are produced when performing Intravascular Lithotripsy giving us a novel safe and proven treatment option to break up the calcified plaque with potentially least risk of injury to the artery compared to other treatments. The calcium hardened structure restricts normal artery movement and makes the rigid arterial tissue resistant to traditional balloon therapies that have been designed to compress the plaque within the artery wall to restore normal blood flow”.

The angioplasty was successfully conducted and the patient is doing well post the procedure. He has be discharged within a couple of days from the hospital. With a hospital stay of only two days and hardly any incision or blood loss, he is back to normal life .He is extremely happy and the family is  relieved.

A salute to the Covid warriors on this World Heart Day

Birla Heart Research Centre, a Super-Speciality Cardiac Institute observed World Heart Day with some of its patients who underwent complicated cardiac procedures right in the midst of the pandemic. The hospital, which is designated as a ‘green zone’, granted a new lease of life to many who overcame their fears and inhibitions to visit the hospital. With gratitude and kindness, patients today spoke about their experience.

Eminent cardiologists and cardiac surgeons who have witnessed the evolution of cardiac science and have generously contributed to the specialised field have been pivotal to saving the lives of many during the lockdown.  Cardiologists,Dr. Anil Mishra, Dr. Anjan Siotia, Dr. Ashok B Malpani, Dr. Dhiman Kahali, Dr. Tarun Praharaj, Dr. Shuvo Dutta, Dr. Sabyasachi Pal and Cardiac Surgeons like Dr. Manoj Daga and Dr. Ratan Das share the unanimous opinion that at the very core of a healthcare relationship lies trust. No doubt the frontline doctors and healthcare workers have shown immense courage and resilience to continue to serve the people while seamlessly adapting to the new normal. Moreover, one cannot lose sight of the courage shown by patients who have steppedout of their houses and visited the hospital to undergo complex cardiac procedures. The positivity that they have shared even during this time is truly commendable. These patients are definitely among the true COVID warriors.

They also serve as pioneers of the faith and trust that are associated with the healthcare industry.  It’s their smile, spirit and wellbeing, which have inspired and given a ray of hope to the doctors who undoubtedly are fighting for the patients. The clinical excellence which the doctors shared along with patients experience in the new normal scenario gave a vibrant feeling of hope amidst fear and anxiety.The trust between a doctor and his patient is sacred will continue to remain unblemished even in these trying times.Taking care of one’s heart and to use the heart to beat the cardiovascular diseaseswas the focus of the interaction.

Speaking on the occasion of World Heart Day, Dr. Simmardeep Gill, COO, CK Birla Hospitals salutes all doctors and medical staff, who have been doing a marvellous job while running the greatest risk. They have stood firm by prioritizing their duty over themselves. He says, “Our doctors are the ones who are standing in the front line to give their best and are fighting the battle fearlessly.  It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to continuously be on your toes and serve patients. It is their dedication and compassion towards saving lives that makes this world a better place.”

“We would like to assure you of the safety and utmost care of the medical fraternity. We at BM Birla, dedicate our training and practice to recognise and treat patients suffering from cardiac issues. We are witnessing a surge in cardiac ailments which are being dealt with by the use of clinical excellence and advanced devices. The way forward, when it comes to cardiac science, is to be more accurate in prediction so as to enable early detection. Our focus has all along been on adapting to the constant developments which are taking place around us and we are hopeful that with the perfection of such easy-to-use devices and equipment, coupled with the advent of artificial intelligence, within the next couple of years, cardiology would be more about timely prediction and early intervention”, explains Dr. Gill.

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