Saturday, 30 August 2003  
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"Beating Heart" surgery successfully performed at Colombo National Hospital

by Bharatha Malawaraarachchi

Off-pump heart surgery or better known as "Beating Heart" surgery operation is now being successfully performed at the Colombo National Hospital (CNH) benefitting the patient and the hospital authorities.

Hospital Director Dr. Hector Weerasinghe said his staff have been able to successfully perform the cost-effective surgery over the last few months. "This is the first time that this type of surgery has been performed at a Government hospital and we have done nearly 60 operations and all those persons who underwent this surgery are now leading a normal life," he added.

This particular type of heart surgery which is performed only at the CNH is providing several advantages to the patients and the hospital authorities. "The blood loss during this operation and the complications afterwards are less compared to conventional surgeries", Dr. Weerasinghe said.

The unique feature of this surgery is the cost effectiveness." We can save Rs. 100,000 on each heart patient undergoing this surgery and for the last six months, we have been able to save nearly Rs. six million," Dr. Weerasinghe said.

During the last year, the CNH doubled its number of all heart surgery operations and this year too, they are expecting to perform 1000 heart surgeries.

However, according to reports, around 4,102 patients are on the waiting list to undergo heart surgeries at the CNH and Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle. Accordingly, there are 2,500 patients at the CNH and 1,602 at the Karapitiya Hospital waiting to udnergo heart surgery.

However, 2,710 heart surgeries had been performed since 2001 at the CNH while 565 operations were performed at the Karapitiya hospital. Altogether 3,275 various types of heart surgeries had been performed at both hospitals.

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