New Delhi: A 76-year-old woman from Mumbai who was born with a hole in her heart underwent a transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement surgery (TPVR) and became the oldest woman to undergo this minimally invasive procedure, stated a report.

The pulmonary valve regulates blood circulation between one of the upper and the lower chambers of the heart. Until a few years ago, this replacement and repair of the valve were possible only by open-heart surgery. However, the new TPVR surgery avoids cutting open the chest. Rather, a catheter containing a balloon-expandable replacement pulmonary valve is inserted in a large blood vessel in the groin or the chest and then guided till it is deployed in the heart. The goal of this surgery is to ensure that the patient does not have to suffer from any further complications.

Notably, the doctors who performed TPVR on the woman noted that she had earlier undergone two open-heart surgeries to dilate the pulmonary valve, repair the hole and replace the dead valve. In 2015, the woman even underwent a balloon dilatation procedure for the surgically implanted artificial pulmonary valve, a report quoted cardiologists as saying.

Last month, the woman visited the Reliance hospital after she experienced breathlessness, stated a report. After a medical checkup, the woman was diagnosed with severe narrowing and calcification. Since she was weighed just 39 kg and was at serious risk following an open heart valve surgery, the doctors had suggested TPVR.

With proper planning, the TPVR was successfully performed on the old woman. “The patient was not only shifted out of the ICU within 24 hours of the procedure but discharged within 48 hours,” a hospital official was quoted as saying by a report by Times of India.