An infant with a heart condition had to undergo a valve repair surgery within six hours of her birth at a private hospital in the national capital. Doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) said that the baby girl had blockage in one of her heart valves, she was operated as any further delay would have put her life in danger. Underlining that such repairs are common in grown-up kids, the doctors said that it was a challenge operating on infants to repair the congenital defect because their organs and tissues are very fragile, reported Times of India.

Advika (infant), had nearly 80% blockage in the pulmonary valve and any delay in repair of the same could have cost her life, blockage,” Dr Neeraj Aggarwal, consultant, paediatric cardiology at SGRH, told Times of India.

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“Usually, valve repair is done via the groin but in this case we needed the neck vessels to do the procedure also referred to as balloon valvuloplasty. It involves inserting a thin tube with a balloon at its tip through a blood vessel to the faulty valve in the heart. The balloon is inflated to help clear the blockage,” he added.

Dr Aggarwal also revealed that the baby’s condition was diagnosed through fetal echocardiography in the fifth month of pregnancy which gave the family time to decide and approach right centre for valve repair. He also stressed on the need of early intervention as delay in such cases has often resulted in death of many children.

“The message to public is that outcome of congenital heart diseases can be improved by early intervention and foetal echocardiography is an important tool for the same,” DR Aggarwal said.