Forget the South and the metropolitan cities, heart patients can avail of advanced treatment facilities right in the state capital from December.
Paras HMRI Hospital would introduce fractional flow reserve (FFR) measurement. Sources said FFR machine, which would cost around Rs 15 lakh, could be used on patients once they reach the hospital.
FFR refers to a type of test that helps doctors determine the blockages in the arteries, which cause coronary artery disease, during angiogram or before angioplasty. With FFR measurement, unnecessary heart operations could be avoided or in cases where surgery is needed, doctors could get scientific data of the affected part. Patients can avoid unnecessary procedures like angioplasty or bypass surgery.
Sources said cardiologists in metropolitan cities use FFR for better heart treatment. However, no government or private hospital offers the facility yet.
On the FFR’s advantages, Ajay Sinha, a consultant interventional cardiologist at Paras HMRI Hospital, said: “FFR measurement can help check whether a patient requires heart surgery or not. Even if a patient, not in need of surgery, undergoes a heart surgery, there would be no immediate effect on his health but might have post-surgical problems.”
He added: “For example, a stent is placed in the coronary artery if a person suffers from coronary heart disease (a disease in which blockages are triggered by narrowing of the coronary artery). In some cases, it has been found that there could be re-narrowing of the coronary artery because of the stent. After all, the metallic stent is a foreign material to the body and would have affects on the artery. Doctors place stent in the coronary artery only when the patient’s condition turns critical. The patient could save on the surgery cost.”
Divulging more details on the FFR measurement, Sinha said: “The doctor inserts sensors into the patient’s heart and measures the pressure of blood flow before and after the blockage. Based on the ratio of blood pressure at two different points, the doctors decide the intensity of the affected part. In angiography, such decisions are taken with the help of visual graphics. But the images may sometimes give an unclear picture and it becomes difficult to take correct decision. But, in FFR, the doctors come to know about the specific artery.”
Although the technique is not new, it is available in the 10 per cent of the catheterisation laboratories in the whole country, said Sinha. He said: “The accuracy of the FFR measurement is more than 90 per cent. It is a widely accepted scientific procedure that complements angiography. So there is no reason why cardiologists should not opt for this. However, it is really sad that only 10 per cent of the catheterisation laboratories have this facility.” Sinha said a patient would have to shell out between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000 to get the FFR test done.
The health hub has also introduced radial angioplasty, which ensures quick recovery of patients.