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Doctors successfully operate on baby with heart outside chest; first case in Vietnam

Monday, August 24, 2015, 19:53 GMT+7

Vietnamese doctors have successfully performed two operations on a baby born with her heart outside her chest, a rare case in the world and the first of its kind in Vietnam. Dr. Nguyen Hoang Dinh, head of the Cardiovascular Operation Department at the Ho Chi Minh City Medicine and Pharmacy University Hospital, on Sunday said a 16-month-old baby has recovered well after undergoing two operations to relocate her heart, which was covered with a thin membrane, into her chest. The baby, V.H.B.T., of the southern province of Binh Duong, was discharged on August 3 and received a follow-up examination last week, Dr. Dinh said. The baby underwent the first operation on June 26, when doctors made necessary intervention to repair defects in her heart. Three days later, doctors performed the second surgery to bring her heart into her chest, regenerate the chest and abdominal walls and add a membrane to separate the chest and abdomen. The baby’s case was very complicated, as only one chamber of her heart pushed blood out, the blood provided for her lungs was not enough, and there were defects in the abdominal wall and breastbone, Dr. Dinh said. Not only was her heart outside the chest, but some other organs in the abdomen were also exposed, the doctor said. Therefore, before performing the operations, the hospital conducted consultations with many experts in various fields including cardiology, aesthetic surgery, pediatric operation, and anaesthetization and resuscitation to decide on how to best deal with the baby’s case. The operations on the baby were carried out under a humanitarian program, the hospital said. The baby’s case is rare in the world and is the first that has been treated successfully by surgery in Vietnam, according to the hospital.

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