By Ranjana Narayan
New Delhi: It’s an innovative triple therapy meant to resuscitate very sick hearts – and is inexpensive too. The procedure will make the heart stronger, give it more years and is ideal for the multitude of Indian heart patients, its India-born innovator promises.
The triple therapy involves angiogenesis (stimulating the growth of a network of blood vessels in the failing heart), stem cell technology and a single bypass surgery – all in combination in a single surgical session.
Eminent cardiac surgeon Mukesh Hariawala, who last month was honoured with ‘India’s Most Admired Surgeon’ award by Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan in Mumbai, promises his triple therapy will greatly minimise the need to go in for future heart surgery.
“It is a revolutionary technique,” Hariawala, who is also healthcare economist, told IANS during a visit here.
Hariawala, a visiting honorary cardiac surgeon at Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital, will be conducting a clinical trial of his therapy at the hospital next year.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) would be the largest cause of death and disability in India by 2020. Heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year and the numbers are rising.
By 2030, it is expected that 23 million people will die from CVDs annually.
Hariawala’s innovation works three ways – first by stimulating the growth of a network of blood vessels in the failing heart, second by injecting stem cells harvested from the patient’s hip into the heart, and third, by a single bypass surgery.
US-based Hariawala, who trained in cardiac surgery and transplantation in Britain before moving to Boston where he is attached with the Harvard Medical School Affiliated Hospitals, began working on angiogenesis in 1995.
“The triple therapy ensures total repair of the heart,” said Hariawala, adding he would be holding numerous training programmes across India on the procedure.
“The procedure ensures complete re-vascularisation of the heart and the patient is expected not to need further cardiac intervention,” said Hariawala, who was a member of the surgical team that performed the first bypass surgery on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 1990 along with John Wright at Harley Street Clinic in London.
For the triple therapy to work – all three procedures need to work in tandem in a hybrid operating suite, which would have a combination of a cath lab and operation theatre, said Hariawala, adding that some big brands are providing this to Indian hospitals.
“The entire procedure is very inexpensive,” he said.
Hariawala added that he would be speaking on his triple therapy at conferences in India and educational events across the world.