Southampton General Hospital's Dr Joseph Vettukattil uses revolutionary method to save heart attack patient's life

Daily Echo: Dr Joseph Vettukattil Dr Joseph Vettukattil

A HAMPSHIRE doctor has become the first in the world to use a revolutionary custom-made patch to save the life of an elderly heart attack patient.

Dr Joseph Vettukattil, a consultant congenital cardiologist at Southampton General Hospital, was called on after surgeons felt an invasive open procedure to repair a large hole in the 85-year-old woman's heart was too risky.

As the severe attack created a hole too wide for closure with conventional devices, Dr Vettukattil used his own radical scanning technique - multiplane review 3D echocardiography - to take measurements of the affected area.

The technology allows doctors to see the three dimensions of the heart move simultaneously and ''chop'' the heart into small pieces to see what is wrong on screen without any physical intervention.

He then emailed the images to a specialist company in Sweden which created the patch and had it delivered within 48 hours.

Dr Vettukattil said: ''This lady had suffered a very severe heart attack and surgeons felt it too much of a risk to operate on her, which left the options extremely limited and her chances of survival slim.

''When I looked at the hole, it was large and unsuitable for closure, so I tried my luck and asked a company whether they could help.

''They designed it precisely to my drawings and the device was flown in within 48 hours.''

Dr Vettukattil said the case could prove to be a milestone in treatment options for patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

He added: ''With the information available from such sensitive scanning as 3D echocardiography, we could see the introduction of a specific device to address particular problems such as acute heart attacks and this process is already under way.''

A spokesman for Southampton General Hospital said the patient was discharged to her local hospital seven days after the procedure and was now in a residential home for physio and rehabilitation.

Comments (7)

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11:59am Wed 12 Dec 12

rudolph_hucker says...

Dr Joseph Vettukattil, a true life saver, probably a bit of genius thrown in there as well - same goes for the doctors who work in the children's heart unit at Southampton.
They saved my friend's baby's life in 2010.
Let's hope it never closes.
Dr Joseph Vettukattil, a true life saver, probably a bit of genius thrown in there as well - same goes for the doctors who work in the children's heart unit at Southampton. They saved my friend's baby's life in 2010. Let's hope it never closes. rudolph_hucker
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Subject48 says...

Great story! Meriting far, far more attention and praise then ridiculus celeb/football/polit
ical gossip!

Great work, carried out by great people!
Great story! Meriting far, far more attention and praise then ridiculus celeb/football/polit ical gossip! Great work, carried out by great people! Subject48
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Wed 12 Dec 12

bazzeroz says...

'Heart warming story'
'Heart warming story' bazzeroz
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Sovietobserver says...

This report fully illustrates the professional dedication that our health heroes like Dr.Vettukattil ,who are pushing the boundaries of medical and scientific advancements further into a new era.This is an excellent example where not only the combination of international collaburation is being used, but also demonstrates how well the intracacies performed at local teamwork level, can benefit, as well as be an inspiration to us all.
Long live the NHS. Well done.
This report fully illustrates the professional dedication that our health heroes like Dr.Vettukattil ,who are pushing the boundaries of medical and scientific advancements further into a new era.This is an excellent example where not only the combination of international collaburation is being used, but also demonstrates how well the intracacies performed at local teamwork level, can benefit, as well as be an inspiration to us all. Long live the NHS. Well done. Sovietobserver
  • Score: 0

2:39pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Cyber__Fug says...

Well done Dr.Vettukattil - you are a credit to your profession.

Now then, Movember is over so you can shave it off now.
Well done Dr.Vettukattil - you are a credit to your profession. Now then, Movember is over so you can shave it off now. Cyber__Fug
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Wed 12 Dec 12

IronLady2010 says...

Great work Dr Joseph Vettukattil, many Doctors would fear trying new ways to cure their patient through fear of being sued.

You have ignored this threat and done what you thought was the very best for your patient and proved it to be a great success.

You are to be congratulated 100%. I hope if I ever need a good doctor I come across you! x
Great work Dr Joseph Vettukattil, many Doctors would fear trying new ways to cure their patient through fear of being sued. You have ignored this threat and done what you thought was the very best for your patient and proved it to be a great success. You are to be congratulated 100%. I hope if I ever need a good doctor I come across you! x IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

8:32pm Wed 12 Dec 12

margie933 says...

What a Wonderful story. Dr Joseph Vettukattil is truly an amazing & clever man. The patient is really lucky he was on duty. S.G.H. is well known for it's wonderful heart doctors. Having experienced them helping my husband last year after a heart attack I am lucky to still have here with me. Well done to them all & Best Wishes for a speedy recovery to the patient.
What a Wonderful story. Dr Joseph Vettukattil is truly an amazing & clever man. The patient is really lucky he was on duty. S.G.H. is well known for it's wonderful heart doctors. Having experienced them helping my husband last year after a heart attack I am lucky to still have here with me. Well done to them all & Best Wishes for a speedy recovery to the patient. margie933
  • Score: 0

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