Sounds waves were used to break down stubborn calcium deposits in the coronary artery of a patient at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals on Thursday. The patient had undergone a coronary bypass surgery two years ago but fell ill again recently when hardened deposits formed in his heart arteries again.Mohd. Baehshin, 76, was, however, in luck because Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata — where he has been under treatment for years — was by now equipped to perform eastern India’s first Coronary Intravascular Lithotripsy or Coronary Shockwave Lithotripsy while employing the use of OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography), an advanced imaging technique.
“Sometimes when there is calcium deposit in the arteries, the simpler processes of stenting — using a balloon — do not work. The calcium in the arteries is so hard that the balloon that is usually used to make room for the stent, itself ruptures. In such cases, a technique known as rotablation is normally used to physically grind down the plaque. But this new technique — Coronary Shockwave Lithotripsy —is safer as it breaks down the obstinate obstruction through sonic pulses,” said Dr Aftab Khan, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, AGHL.
“At Apollo Gleneagles, we also have a high resolution OCT device, which gives us high resolution images from inside the artery from where we get the accurate position and dimension of the deposits inside the artery and those hidden in the walls of the artery,” he added.
According to doctors, this new technique would prove beneficial especially to for the elderly, diabetics, patients with chronic kidney disease, those suffering from longstanding blockages and basically any patient with calcium deposits that have rendered the balloons used in stenting redundant.
The technique also stands to benefit those patients who have a recurrence of deposits in the artery after coronary bypass surgery.
Mr Rana Dasgupta, CEO, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, who was present on the occasion, said: “We have always strived to embrace the latest advances in medical science so that we can provide world class services to our patients. We are able to walk this path because of the commitment of our doctors to excellence, which makes them acquire the skills required for such top-of-the-line procedures.”