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Jan 25, 2009 at 01:20pm IST

PM tolerated surgery well, doctors upbeat

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underwent a successful marathon surgery in New Delhi on 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 back to active life within six weeks, his doctors said.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was wheeled into the operation theatre 5 of AIIMS at around 0640 hrs IST. He was given anesthesia immediately. The surgery, led by Dr Ramakant Panda of the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai and a team of 11 other doctors finally started at around 0730 hrs IST.

The surgery was a live heart one, which means that the heart continues to beat as the surgery is performed.

Grafts placed in 1990 when the PM underwent his first bypass and stents placed during an angioplasty he underwent in 2003 were found to be clogged. A total of 5 bypasses were done on the PM. Four arterial grafts and one venous graft were created and positioned.

"Some blockages were found in the coronary arteries where some of the grafts that were placed in 1990 as well as the stents placed in 2004 were found to have been obstructed," said Dr Ramakant Panda, the surgeon who headed the team operating on the Prime Minister.

Dr Reddy also explained why the surgeons opted for coronary arterial bypass graft surgery as opposed ot going for Angioplasty, considered a less complex option.

"Though angioplasty is as good as good as surgery, there is no doubt about it. But in this particular case with the honourable Prime Minister we thought that surgery will be a better long term option because there are too many blockages. Also the stent too already had a blockage," said Dr Reddy, one of the operating surgeons.

Considering the number of blockages in the PMs heart, the team of doctors felt they could not wait beyond the Republic Day parade.

"Given the nature of the blockages, it was considered advisable to do it earlier rather than much later," said Dr Panda.

The surgery ended at 1930 hrs IST and had taken nearly 12 hours.The Prime Minister is expected to remain in the hospital for at least a week and will be constantly monitored.

Meanwhile, the PM is reported to have taken the surgery with strength of mind and body. On gaining consciousness, he is reported to have said, "I am ready."

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