All news 29.09.2017

Two Young Men with a Rare Disease Received a Second Chance to Live after Undergoing a Unique and Very First for Bulgaria Surgeries


Acibadem City Clinic has established a multi-disciplinary treatment center, thus upgrading its Cardiac Surgery Program

Two young men, aged 36 and 42, have been given a second chance to live their life after undergoing surgeries at Acibadem City Clinic Cardiovascular Center. In Bulgaria, this was the very first time ever a surgery of a chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension to be carried out. The treatment is unique not only for Bulgaria but also for the whole region of Southeastern Europe. Such surgeries are taking place only in Austria, France, Germany and the UK, and so far Bulgarian patients have had to travel and cover very high costs.

‘This is a stepping stone in the Bulgarian Cardiac Surgery’, stated Dr. Georgi Ignatov, coordinator of the program, who has led these first two surgeries in Bulgaria. The surgery itself is called pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, and is a very complex and prolonged procedure as the human body must be cooled down to 20ºC, whereas the blood circulation and the heart activity are stopped, and these two are taken over by a ‘heart-lung machine’. Each intervention lasted around 12 hours by observing the strictest European protocols introduced by the Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, UK. Dr. Chu Yen Ngu, among the four cardio-surgical specialists in the British National Program, has – together with his team – already trained Bulgarian doctors. However, the British team will continue to be methodical supervisors in terms of the whole process of diagnosing, treating and follow-up of patients in Bulgaria. During the surgery, all thrombi are removed along with the inner layer of the pulmonary arteries and formations that have been causing severe heart failure and have prevented the normal lung circulation. The patients have been discharged on the 9th post-surgery day.

Unless undergoing such a complex procedure, patients have a very low quality of life due to the easy tiredness when doing the least of daily efforts. World statistic reports state 6 in 1 million people are affected by chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, and there are approximately 100 people in Bulgaria.