GRAND CAYMAN: Health City Cayman Islands has performed its second successful LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) heart surgery.
Ralph Wright of the Cayman Islands recently underwent the procedure, which is performed at advanced stages of heart failure when the heart has become severely weakened and unable to pump sufficient blood to the entire body.
Wright, 55, recovered from the procedure in nine days and is recovering at home.
“I think this Health City is one of the best things (that) could come to Cayman,” he said. “With their skillful hands, and through God’s intervention, I think (it) all played a part in making this come true.”
Only a small percentage of LVAD heart surgical procedures are done each year in the United States. Less than 10 similar surgeries are believed to have been performed in South America; and none previously in the Caribbean before Health City successfully performed the surgery on 49-year-old Caymanian, Albert Seymour, this past summer.
Wright has been battling a heart condition since 2008.
“To be honest with you, I’ve been through about four or five institutes and the best attention I’ve gotten is here (at Health City),” he said. “Now I haven’t said that I haven’t gotten good attention abroad, but I think the aftercare and that person-to-person attention is something that we have here that was not available to me.”
Mild forms of heart failure can be treated with medications and patients can have a reasonably normal life. However, when advanced heart failure occurs, medications won’t be effective and patients are likely to be incapacitated, home bound and their life expectancy significantly reduced.
The challenge with heart transplants is the availability of a donor heart, said chief cardiac surgeon, Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil.
“We can perform this LVAD surgery here in the Caribbean because we have the infrastructure and team who are well versed with this kind of highly complex procedure – and at half the price of what is being charged in other parts of the world,” he said.
To successfully operate on patients requires experienced cardiothoracic surgical teams, cardiology support with high-end critical care and anesthesiology support.
Furthermore, nurses and physiotherapy services are important adjuncts to provide around-the-clock care, leading to enhanced recovery and outcomes. This works in concert with excellent laboratory and imaging services and supporting clinical services such as pulmonology, nephrology and psychological care.