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Interview with Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon at Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre

What trends in cardiac surgeries have you observed from the starting of your Career till date.

Cardiac surgery is passing through in exciting times . we have so many technological advances in last decade or two. Like for bypass surgery I am using exclusively bilateral internal mammary artery , this gives you highest long term patency of grafts for 20 to 25 years. The surgery is done on the beating heart so that recovery is faster than on pump surgery. We also do cardiac surgery using minimal invasive techniques where we don’t cut patients sternum and open heart surgery is done thorough small incisions on side of the chest. In highly selected patients cardiac surgery can be done using Robotic assistance with rapid recovery and short hospital stay. There are lot of new development in heart failure surgery as well.

  Why do you think there is a rising trend in cardiac ailments.

 IF you see the incidence of the heart disease in last few decades ,I feels some of the diseases have decreased in incidence and some of the diseases are showing increasing pattern. Its all about awareness. Coronary artery disease has shown some increase in last few decades while rheumatic heart disease has decreased incidence. I would say our lifestyle has changed as a society. It has become more sedentary and the diabetes and hypertension has increased in overall population because of the stress. overall we need to find ways to de-stress ourselves.

 What according to you is the cause of younger people getting heart attack?

Younger people getting heart attack is serious concern for the society as whole. what we are doing today is what we will bound to get back tomorrow. you are eating junk food , fast foods , lot of sugary beverages no exercise, no timing of food consumption. complete lack of exercise, smoking , high blood pressure , in few diabetes and high cholesterol all add to the insult on the heart.  people not getting adequate sleep of 7-8 hours. this all puts together great stress on cardiovascular system. Again complete ignorance of chest pain as a symptom. attributing it to gases. I dont understand why we should get gases at 2 am , or after walking for 20 mints.

 For medical tourism, shade a light on foreign patients for cardiac surgeries?

Medical tourism in India is increasing as we have best facilities as compared to other developed nations and we do it in much lesser cost. So you have the same quality at much affordable cost. I have worked in USA. there a CABG will cost you minimum 50k USD where in the hospitals I am working in Mumbai CABG cost is approx 12k-13k USD. We get lot of patients from abroad . they come for bypass in Mumbai stay here fro a month and then fly back. whole experience is satisfactory for most of the patients. medical tourism is going to increase more and more and as a country we have best infrastructure and best technology available. Patients need to plan there visit. appropriate documentation and medical certificates are necessary prior to visiting India. You need to be in touch with your doctor to get proper expenses certificate for your surgery. off course you also need to book hotel though the international patient desk or with the help of treating doctor so that your visit and stay , travel to and from airport is taken care of. I feel in coming years India will become the hub for medical tourism for cardiac surgeries.

 What advice would you like to give to youngsters who aspire to be cardiac surgeons?

Well I always say, cardiac surgery is going through an exciting phase and there is lot more in the future. if you wish to become a cardiac surgeon  you need to have the passion. I will bet any other speciality is as gratifying as cardiac surgery. Your dealing with highest order just like an orchestra. This comes after lot of dedication and hard work. If you have zeal to constantly improve yourself even when you feel you have done your best. Then this field is for you.

 How do you think will technology play a role in cardiac diseases in the future?

You know just 100 years back touching the heart during surgery was considered as sinful act. Most of the renowned surgeons of that era in Europe , but one Surgeon changed this in north America and after discovery of heart lung machine heart surgery has become norm all over the world. we as a cardiac surgeons accepts the newer technology and which changes our practice accordingly. Technology has given us the power to detect heart disease earlier, to treat the heart disease with best methods and I think in future we should be able to control the heart disease in more meaningful way by using newer tools. Lot of surgeries are been done in minimal access way, using Robotic technologies in some centers in the world.

 How can the current generation keep their heart healthy?

If you want to keep your heart healthy , choose what you eat , not only the type of food but quantity of food is also important. Have some stress relieving activity for rejuvenation. Sleep adequately 7-8 hours a day. at least do one of the activity of brisk walking, swimming , cycling or running regularly.  You can give best gift to your heart by avoiding use of tobacco in any form

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