A state government employee, Sunil Mahajan (name changed), who was diagnosed as being HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)–positive years ago, had seven drug–eluting stents fitted into his heart’s arteries in two procedures carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mahajan is possibly the only HIV–positive person who has had so many stents fitted at the Byculla hospital. "He has known about his HIV status for years and has been under medication. When he came to us, we found that he also has diabetes," said Dr N O Bansal, who heads the department of cardiology at JJ Hospital.
"Few hospitals are willing to operate on HIVpositive people," said Dr Bansal. JJ Hospital—a centre of excellence for HIV patients—has performed over 1,000 deliveries of HIVpositive women.
While HIV–positive people are prone to heart–related ailments, Mahajan’s case was more difficult due to the extent of the disease.
"His arteries were thread–like and he had several blockages," said Dr Bansal. Mahajan was therefore advised a bypass surgery. "While this might have been the best treatment for my heart problems, my family wanted an angioplasty because it would involve no cuts," said Mahajan.
His father told TOI that his co–conditions such as diabetes, could have made his recovery difficult. On Thursday, Mahajan said his chest pain had disappeared. "I hadn’t eaten since I suffered a heart attack on June 26. Now, I am feeling good," he said. His stents cost Rs 5.75 lakh.
"Mahajan’s experience shows that patients with complex heart disease, too can have a non–surgical option," said Dr Bansal.
Times of India
19 July 2013