Bengaluru: Consumption of liquor may be frowned upon but its essential ingredient, alcohol, in its highly potent form has helped save a 30-year-old man’s heart and life.
A few drops of absolute alcohol or 99% pure alcohol and an induced heart attack gave a fresh lease of life to Sumit, who was suffering from a genetic heart condition which left him usually breathless when he went about his daily chores like climbing stairs. A year’s medication of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy too was of no avail, said doctors treating him.
In the first week of October, Sumit visited Manipal Hospitals, Sarjapur. He was evaluated for two weeks and offered an option to go for a heart surgery. The alternative was to inject alcohol into parts of his heart to reduce the thickness of its muscles.
Being young, Sumit was reluctant to undergo surgery, said 21 Dr Suraj Narasimhan A, consultant, interventional cardiologist & structural intervention specialist, Manipal Hospitals, Sarjapur, who was part of the team undertaking the procedure.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetically determined heart muscle disease. It is characterised by thickening of the heart muscles, explained Dr Saikat Kanjilal, interventional cardiologist. As part of the procedure called the ‘alcohol septal ablation’, 0.5ml of alcohol was injected three times through a specialised balloon catheter, which when inflated prevents slippage of alcohol into the undesired location. The alcohol injected in the areas where the muscles were thick induced a heart attack. The heart attack, in turn, caused the cells in that area of the heart to die off, and the muscles grew thin. The 45-minute surgery was performed in October and in two days, Sumit was out of the hospital. Doctors said followup is still on.