Nagpur: A made-in-India artificial heart or left ventricular assist device (LVAD) will be a reality soon, with a team of IITians and investors from across the country working on it. The device will be available for just Rs 20 lakh, compared to the Rs 1.20 crore cost of an imported artificial heart.
Veteran heart surgeon Dr KR Balakrishnan, who is credited with performing India’s first surgery to implant a LVAD device, was in Nagpur on Sunday. “It will be a milestone in treating heart patients battling end stage heart failure, and for those who are so fragile that they are not even eligible for heart transplant,” said Dr Balakrishnan while delivering the prestigious Dr KG Deshpande Memorial Oration on ‘Battling End Stage Heart Failure in India: The journey so far and the road ahead”. The lecture was hosted by Cardiological Society of India (CSI), Nagpur branch.
A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) or artificial heart is a pump used in patients with end-stage heart failure. The device acts as a bridge while awaiting heart transplant or as a destination therapy for those unable to go in for a transplant. It is an implantable, battery-operated, mechanical pump, which helps the left ventricle (main pumping chamber of the heart) pump blood to the rest of the body.
“The programme was launched in collaboration with IIT Kanpur and nation’s leading hospitals. A team of innovators with relevant experience and a task force comprising industry experts is working on it,” said Dr Balakrishnan.
Cardiologist Dr Vipul Seta took over as president of CSI Nagpur for 2022-23 and Dr Amar Amale became secretary for the year. “We are planning several public-centric events for this year. We have come out of the pandemic and it’s time to look after our general health and keep fit,” said Dr Amale. He said number of cardiologists has increased in Vidarbha and even district headquarter cities have specialized cardiologists now. “Most of the cardiologists in Vidarbha are associated with CSI and we have planned series of academic and knowledge update events for them. This will help patients across the region,” Dr Amale added.