Innovative heart operation takes place at UHB

17 December 2019

A patient at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) has recently undergone a novel procedure, thanks to the skill and expertise of cardiac staff at the Trust.

Keith Eversham, aged 72, had a heart attack and was admitted to Hereford Hospital, later being transferred to QEHB because he had developed a post infarct ventricular septal defect (VSD, a hole in the heart).

Dr Sudhakar George, consultant cardiologist, explained: “Keith wasn’t immediately fit enough for surgery, so he was given extra corporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, which basically acts as a heart and lung bypass machine, helping Keith recover enough for open surgery .

“After emergency surgery, follow-up studies showed we needed to perform a keyhole operation to fully close the VSD.

“The operation, called percutaneous closure of a post infarct VSD, has been performed after open surgery on less than 15 people in the last 15 years in the UK. I’d like to thank my colleagues Dr Sayqa Arif and Dr Chetan Mehta for their support and expertise during the operation.

“I’d particularly like to thank Dr Mehta, who works at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, for travelling across to QEHB to lead the team.”

As a regional specialist centre, UHB is the only Trust in the West Midlands that can provide ECMO, which helps around 50 heart and lung patients a year.

Keith, who had been working as a painter and decorator until the heart attack, said: “The whole team have been absolutely tremendous, and I think the things they can do now for coronary care are amazing.

“I feel like I’m getting stronger by the day, and I don’t feel any pain whatsoever.

“I think I’ll now have to give up the decorating, which I will miss, but overall I feel very lucky to have been treated and looked after so well by all the team here.”

Overall, the cardiology department at UHB are one of the largest in the country, providing specialist services for patients with every type of heart disease from across the West Midlands and beyond.