Doctors perform rare C-section on woman living with artificial heart pump in Middle East-first

Woman underwent the procedure in the 32nd week of pregnancy, and the baby was placed under the care of neonatal intensive team

By Wed Desk

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Published: Mon 20 Mar 2023, 1:49 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Mar 2023, 2:42 PM

In one of the rare medical cases recorded in the world and the first in the Middle East, a medical team at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSH&RC) was able to perform a successful cesarean surgery without complications for a 32-year-old woman who lives on an artificial pump assisting the heart as a bridge until a donor becomes available for a heart transplant.

The woman has been suffering from severe weakness in her heart muscles, which necessitated the implantation of an artificial auxiliary pump. When it was discovered that she was pregnant, she was referred to KFSH&RC for treatment, and the team promptly set a date for her to give birth to avoid any complications that could arise, including managing the artificial heart pump's performance as required by each stage's needs.

The patient received the highest level of care by a multidisciplinary medical team of seven specialities. They monitored her closely and ensured she was healthy enough to undergo a cesarean surgery in the 32nd week of pregnancy.

After the procedure was completed without complications, the mother was transferred to intensive care to continue monitoring her condition. Meanwhile, the baby was placed under the supervision of the neonatal intensive care team.

Physicians usually advise against pregnancy in patients who have received an artificial heart-assisting pump implant due to the potential complications for both the mother and the fetus, including pump malfunctions that could endanger their lives. Therefore, it is remarkable that the KFSH&RC medical team was able to perform this successful surgery and ensure the safe delivery of a healthy baby.

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