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Surgery on PM successful
Published on 25 Jan. 2009 1:51 AM IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underwent a successful marathon surgery here Saturday, during which doctors made five bypasses around blockages in his heart. He was in the intensive care unit (ICU) and was conscious by the night, and would be “fully active” within six weeks, his doctors said. “The prime minister is conscious, responding, and healthy,” K. Srinath Reddy, chairman of the prime minister’s medical panel, told reporters after the 11-hour surgery. “He has been moved to the ICU of the cardio-thoracic centre. He will stay in the ICU for three days and in hospital for seven-eight days.” The surgery that was “successfully concluded”, according to Reddy, started at 8.45 a.m. Saturday. Manmohan Singh had been wheeled into operation theatre - 5 of the state-run premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences at 7.45 a.m. The team of surgeons led by Ramakant Panda, head of the Mumbai-based Asian Heart Institute, used the “beating heart” technique during the surgery on the 76-year-old prime minister was that was considered “less risky”, according to AIIMS Medical Superintendent D.K. Sharma. The surgery was completed at 7.33 p.m. and Manmohan Singh was wheeled into the ICU at 8.55 p.m. Asked by a host of reporters who had been camping outside AIIMS the whole day why the procedure took so long, Panda said: “When we are saving a life, we don’t look at the clock”. The 11-member team of surgeons, anaesthetists and physicians were under the overall guidance of the head of AIIMS Cardio Vascular and Thoracic Centre Sampath Kumar. Manmohan Singh had undergone a bypass surgery earlier in 1990 and an angioplasty in 2004. Panda explained that a repeat surgery always takes longer. “There were five blockages.” He also said the grafts were taken from the prime minister’s inner chest, left hand and left leg and expressed the confidence that these bypasses would “last his lifetime”. When asked whether the redo-bypass surgery would restrict the movement of the prime minister, Reddy said : “Why restricted? We have removed five blockages. We expect him to be more active now.” Manmohan Singh was discharged from AIIMS Thursday following an angiography Wednesday, but was re-admitted Friday after he felt uneasy at his 7, Race Course Road residence in the morning. Tests over two days revealed that the 76-year-old Singh, who became prime minister in May 2004 heading a Congress-led government, had multiple arterial blockages and needed to undergo the “coronary artery bypass graft surgery”.

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