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Pakistan statistics * Last updated: 14 Dec, 2022 - 08:21am

KARACHI - Pakistan’s first-ever mechanical heart transplant was successfully performed at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) on Monday when a 62-year old Nafeesa Begum implanted with a device in her heart. Renowned Cardiologist Dr Pervaiz Chaudhry, who headed the team of doctors that performed the surgery, said heart of Nafeesa was functioning only 15 per cent prior to the surgery but after implanting Left Ventricle Assistant Device (LVAD), the heart would work normally. In a media briefing after the operation, Dr Chaudhry, who joined the NICVD along with his team of experts on the special request of the NICVD head Dr Nadeem Qamar, said the operation lasted for three hours and the patient is stable and would be shifted to ICU soon. Briefing about the disease, the cardiologist said that failure of the left ventricle causes difficulty in breathing and the heart gets weaker or in common words it is termed as ‘ big heart’. The device called LVAD is implanted for assisting cardiac circulation. Dr Nadeem Qamar said the device can work for one to seven year and after implantation and the patient can live a normal life. The mechanical heart transplant is performed at biggest hospitals abroad and now the Pakistanis will not have to go anywhere else as the similar treatment is available at the NICVD. The LCAD replaces the pumping function of failing heart but this could only be implanted when other organs of the patient function properly, as in the case of Nafeesa.  The NICVD administration had been working in introducing such technology in the country for last several months as former Hockey Olympian Mansoor Ahmed was to be the first person in Pakistan to be implanted LCAD. However, the process was halted when Mansoor suffered another heart attack and passed away. The mechanical heart transplant at the NICVD is being considered as the milestone in the country’s health history as 62-year old woman became the first Pakistani to undergo this unprecedented surgery at the national hospital. In a regular transplant, the patient gets new heart which is inserted into his body in place of old one but in the mechanical one, the whole heart is not transplanted in fact the LVAD is implanted at the failure part for assisting cardiac circulation. Source: The Nation (July 10, 2018)