- The septuagenarian breast cancer survivor was suffering from superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS), an obstructive heart disease resulting from cancer.
- She was admitted with sudden swelling of face and neck and severe shortness of breath that required ventilatory support.
- The team of doctors opted for endovascular treatment along with lytic therapy as traditional approach of radiotherapy and chemotherapy could not treat her acute condition.
Gurgaon, 02.112018: A septuagenarian breast cancer survivor suffering from superior vena cava syndrome, an obstructive heart disease resulting from cancer, was given a fresh lease of life by a team of multi-speciality doctors here.
The 78-year old woman, who was treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy in 2011, was admitted with sudden swelling of face and neck and severe shortness of breath that requiredventilatory support. An urgent CT scan and angiogram was conducted that revealed complete obstruction of the four veins: the right brachiocephalicartery, the left subclavian artery and the bilateral carotids.
“Her condition was such that radiotherapy and chemotherapy could not treat the acute condition and in case of an open surgery, the odds were high – there was 40 per cent chance that she would not survive the operation. That is why we decided to use endovascular treatment along with lytic therapy proved to be a lifesaver,” says Dr. Amit Bhushan Sharma, Associate Director Cardiology and Unit Head, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon.
However, the process was far from easy – it took two days and a team of Six doctors comprising cardiologist, onco surgeon anaesthesiologist and oncologist led by Dr. Sharma to remove all the blocks using the state-of-the-art thrombosuction technique aided with special long non-compliant peripheral balloons.The patient recovered in a few hours and was discharged after four days. SVCS is a life threatening complication of cancer with the very high mortality risk which may be close to 90% in some cases, if not treated timely. In this case, patient was having cancer in breast which led to SVCS. Open surgery is usually not recommended in these cases because of the stage of the cancer and high mortality rate, says Dr. Parveen Yadav, Senior Consultant, Surgical Oncology, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon.
“Traditionally, superior vena cava syndrome has been managed with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. But interventional endovascular techniques offer a safer, rapid, and durable response. In many cases, it may be the only reasonable treatment,” says Dr. Amit Bhushan Sharma who has vast experience in endovascular interventions both national and internationally.
Superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) results from the obstruction of blood flow through the superior vena cava, a short, wide vessel carrying circulating blood into the heart. Most often, it is caused by thoracic malignancy and is more common in people suffering from cancer that spread to the chest. The SVC is the main drainage pathway for the head, neck, and upper torso and any obstruction to the normal flow of blood in the SVC is a medical emergency that causes sudden swelling of the upper body and distended veins, and severe hypotension with sudden cardiac arrest.
Paras Hospitals Gurgaon is among the leading providers of treatment and care in the field of neurosciences, cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, nephrology, gastroenterology, and critical care in India.