New Delhi: A teenage girl from Sikkim who had been suffering from a heart ailment “uncommon for her age” underwent surgery at a private facility in Gurugram near here, according to a statement from the hospital.

The girl was first checked at a camp organised by Fortis Gurugram in Sikkim and after initial investigations, it was found that she is suffering from a rare kind of arrhythmia, called Junctional Tachycardia, which is very uncommon in youngsters, the hospital said.

The functionality of her heart was extremely poor as the ejection fraction, a measurement of the percentage of blood leaving the heart each time it contracts, was only 30 per cent.

She had to be admitted to local hospitals every few days leading to no personal life and forcing her to leave schooling in between, the statement said.

The COVID-19 pandemic and limited health infrastructure further led to a delay in her treatment. As the case was very complex, a team of experts at Fortis Gurugram first flew her here and then conducted a three-dimensional mapping to precisely map the source of arrhythmia, it said.

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During the investigation, it was found that the arrhythmia was coming from the conduction system — the body’s own natural wiring.

Dr T S Kler, Chairman, Fortis Heart & Vascular Institute, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, said, “This case was a real challenge for us because life-threatening Arrhythmias are pretty uncommon at the age of 17. Many times, in small centres, these kinds of Arrhythmias don’t get noticed and eventually the condition becomes fatal.”

The senior doctor said that there were risks involved in the surgery.

“If we tried to get rid of the source of the arrhythmia, then we could have damaged body’s own natural wiring and she would require a pacemaker. Looking at this situation, we refined our mapping technique and mapped the exact source and ablated the arrhythmia in the body’s own conduction system. We were very successful in not damaging the body’s own conduction system and saving the pacemaker as well,” he said.

Dr Avinash Verma, Senior Consultant of Electrophysiology at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute, said the patient showed positive signs of recovery soon after the operation and her ejection fraction, which was 30 per cent, went back to 55 per cent.

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