Hospital gets proficient in heart operations on children

Surgeons of the cardiovascular surgical department at the Okryu Children’s Hospital have made remarkable successes in children’s congenital heart operation.

By establishing a new surgical method for Ebstein anomaly, a kind of congenital malformation of the heart which is a matter of concern to the medical circles in the world, they reduced the treatment period and paved the way for the complete cure of such patients.

The results of previous operations for such cases were so poor that surgeons avoided surgery as much as possible.

“We had a heavy heart whenever we sent back young patients, who came to our hospital with great expectation, unable to cure them. So our department pooled our efforts and intelligence to establish a new operation method of treating the disease,” said Ri Chol Jin, chief of the department.

Through speculation and search, they conceived a method of closing the defect foramen by using a moulding material attached with valve in the operation for patients with ventricular septal defect complicated with severe pulmonary hypertension.

The surgeons performed the first operation on a 12-year-old girl named Mun Jin Suk living in Sadong District of Pyongyang in August last year, and it proved successful.

The method made it possible to reduce the treatment period and save lots of medicines and labour.

On the day of leaving the hospital, she made an entry in the visitors’ book: “For 12 years since I was born, I had been unable to play outside with my friends like a caged bird because of my illness. Now I have fully been cured at the Okryu Children’s Hospital and become able to go to school in a new uniform and shouldering a Sonamu satchel. I feel as if I’m in a dream.”

At present the department is working to open up neonate heart surgery.

According to Ri, it is most desirable to operate on patients with congenital cardiovascular diseases when they are newborns and the surgeons carry out successful operations on three-month old babies.

They also developed over 60 kinds of consumables, which had been imported previously, like atraumatic needle and use them in heart surgery.