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Perfusion Technology Unit

Publish On: January 10th, 2017

Perfusion Technology Unit:


The faculty of Perfusion Technology is a sub-unit within the Department of Cardiac Surgery. Just as anaesthesia revolutionized general surgery, so has extracorporeal circulation technology. Heart, once a forbidden territory to operate on, the heart is now not only accessible, but is changeable thanks to the heart lung machine. Thus, the perfusion technician sees to the safeguard of the patient and his heart while the surgeon repairs the heart. The technology not only deals with heart-lung machine, but also assists in maintaining adequate circulation when the heart is not able to take up its work after surgery. The perfusionist also handles the Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenator (ECMO) a device that helps hearts recover after surgery or the lungs recover after shock lung; the Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump (IABP) a device that helps the heart after an attack or after surgery; Ventricular Assist Devices another technology that helps a weak heart to recover, buy time for transplantation or as a target therapy. Thus the horizon for perfusion technology is ever expanding.

The faculty provides service to cardiac patients six days a week and provides emergency services in case of need. The faculty provides backup service for those on IABP and the occasional patient on ECMO. The faculty has five members, of whom, two are on study leave. The faculty has taken in three trainees to bolster up the numbers.


The total number of heart operations conducted in the year 2016 was1310. There were 727 male patients and 583 female patients. The maximum number operated was in September at 130 operations and the least was in October at 69. The drop in numbers was due to the holiday season and we shifted to the present location in the weeks preceding the holidays. The number of aortic surgeries is increasing and we are conducting more of circulatory arrest with antegrade cerebral protection. There were twenty five aortic surgeries done in the last year. The surgeries in the extremely small babies are also on the rise. Neonates with Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection and D-Transposition of the Great Arteries are operated frequently. IABP is frequently placed for CABG and valve patients and have resulted in a positive outcome as opposed to our initial experience. ECMO is yet to yield a gratifying result, but we will come round that corner too.

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