Minimally invasive procedure saved life of a 3-year-old toddler suffering from rare congenital heart condition

The child from Bikaner who was born with this condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome, had been having several severe episodes of irregular heartbeats requiring multiple times admissions to ICU since birth. Despite being referred to various hospitals, pertaining to her tender age and other complications, she was denied any procedure, before being brought to Max Hospital Saket, where the minimally invasive procedure helped preserve a complete life ahead of her.

Despite being a commonly occurring heart condition, the global prevalence of this condition is one in a thousand.

Having treated one of the rarest cases, doctors at Max Hospital, Saket saved the life of a three-year-old toddler suffering from a rare congenital heart ailment, using a minimally invasive procedure known as Radiofrequency Ablation.

The child from Bikaner who was born with this condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome, had been having several severe episodes of irregular heartbeats requiring multiple times admissions to ICU since birth. Despite being referred to various hospitals, pertaining to her tender age and other complications, she was denied any procedure, before being brought to Max Hospital Saket, where the minimally invasive procedure helped preserve a complete life ahead of her.

Despite being a commonly occurring heart condition, the global prevalence of this condition is one in a thousand. In this condition, the child is born with an extra electrical nerve pathway in the heart’s Atrioventricular node that supplies additional impulse leading to abnormally faster heartbeat (more than 250 bpm).

“Such patients require immediate intervention and if not treated timely, experience palpitation, poor quality of life and even lead to sudden death. However baby Divika was diagnosed with a very high heart rate (250 BPM) during the pre-natal echo, and despite born full term with 3 Kg birth weight, she developed multiple episodes of tachycardia (fluctuating heart beat) and was immediately admitted on ventilator support for 10 days where her condition was controlled with multiple anti-arrhythmic drugs. The child also had a history of hospital admission at the age five months when she developed pneumonia. Even upon being admitted at various hospitals multiple times, including once at Mumbai, her condition did not improve. The parents then took the opinion from a doctor in the US, who then referred them to us. She was brought to Max Hospital, Saket for further evaluation and management of her condition.” Said Dr.Neeraj Awasthy, Principal Consultant & In-charge – Pediatric Cardiology, Max Hospital, Saket.

The baby was thoroughly examined and advised for a minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation procedure. Since the child had been hospitalized multiple times with administration of drugs & dyes in such a tender age, the evaluation for conducting the radiofrequency Ablation had various challenges, with major one being that the veins in her groin were blocked and the procedure had to be performed via her arteries only.

“Radiofrequency ablation, which is a safe and effective intervention, was used to cut that extra nerve pathway. Post ablation, her heartbeats have returned to normal. The child has now been discharged and is leading a healthy life. She has been declared cured of her disease. The parents are happy with the outcome of the treatment. While this condition is fairly common, this case was challenging due to the age of the baby and heart which was too small, with veins which were all occluded including the abdominal vein from previous ICU admissions for performing the procedure.” Said Dr Balbir Singh, Chairman of Cardiology Pan Max.  

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