First heart device implant in Brunei

National 2 minutes, 15 seconds


BRUNEI’S first left ventricular assist device (LVAD) was recently implanted in a heart disease patient, the Health Minister announced at a press conference at Gleneagles JPMC (GJPMC) yesterday.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof said the mechanical heart device was implanted in 51-year-old Mumtazali Mohd Abd Aziz, enabling him to have a near-normal lifestyle after the surgery.

The minister said the LVAD named Heartmate II, which assists the heart to function, would significantly improve the patient’s quality of life as he was previously bedridden due to severe heart problem.

Mumtazali has been suffering from heart disease for the last 12 years and experienced four heart attacks since 2002.

His heart started failing six years ago, resulting in his frequent hospitalisation.

During his recent illness, the patient had to be put on artificial ventilation.

“Now I can lead a normal life again,” said Mumtazali, who is mobilising with assistance and can walk with the help of a walker during his recovery period.

The LVAD was implanted on November 11 by a surgical team led by Dato Paduka Dr Hj Isham Hj Jaafar, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, and proctored by Professor Dr Jaap Lahpor from the Netherlands, a world-renowned surgeon in mechanical heart device implantations.

Chief of cardiac surgery Dr Eugene Sim, consultant anaesthetist Dr D Moorthi, as well as consultant cardiologists Dr Sofian Johar and Dr T Ganesan were also involved in the surgery.

The implantation took about six hours and the patient was then transferred to the intensive care unit for monitoring and recovery. Prior to surgery, the GJPMC team underwent training in LVAD surgery and post-operative patient care at various places including the National Heart Institute of Malaysia.

Dato Dr Isham expressed gratitude for the successful procedure, allowing the surgical option to be introduced to patients in Brunei.

He explained that the Heartmate II, the most widely used LVAD with over 15,000 implants worldwide, was placed below Mumtazali’s diaphragm in the abdomen.

The patient’s family members were also taught how to recharge the battery-powered device.

“It’s easy to use,” said the patient’s son Mohd Sahan Mumtazali, thanking the government for bearing the cost of the mechanical heart device implantation.

GJPMC CEO Dr Peter Tay was thankful to the Ministry of Health for its unwavering support, describing the introduction of the cutting-edge surgical procedure as a testament to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s concern for the healthcare and wellbeing of the people.

Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in the country with an estimated 7,000 patients suffering from various heart ailments and related diseases.

The Brunei Times