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Mon 8 Sep 2008 04:00 AM

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Beating heart procedure ‘first’ for Oman

Complex cardiac surgery that involves operating directly on the beating heart was performed for the first time in Oman last month, according to doctors at a teaching hospital in the country.

Complex cardiac surgery that involves operating directly on the beating heart was performed for the first time in Oman last month, according to doctors at a teaching hospital in the country.

Surgeons and anaesthetists at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital performed the coronary artery bypass operation, involving multiple vessels, without using a heart and lung machine. Cardiac surgeons  collapsed the left lung and made a low incision in the wall of the left chest.

Dr Ashok Sharma, senior cardiothoracic surgeon who led the surgical team, said doing the operation this way, instead of the traditional method where the sternum is broken and the heart is artificially perfused, meant there was less risk of postoperative  complications.

"The risks of infection that become life threatening can be avoided by not splitting the central chest bone or sternum," he said.

Beating heart surgery allows the patient to be discharged on the third or fourth day rather than having to spend seven to 10 days in hospital, added Dr Sharma who has more than 12 years experience of performing the procedure in New Zealand and Australia.

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