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Is it necessary to undergo surgery for a dilated heart?

Q: My 50 years old relative is suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy for the past four years. She is currently suffering from severe loss of breath and vomiting. She is on liquid diet as she is unable to eat anything solid. Usually her ejection fraction fluctuates around 20–30%. Now, it is only 20%. The doctor has suggested her to undergo biventricular pacing as soon as possible. How much does biventricular pacing cost? Is it necessary to undergo surgery? After the surgery, how long can the patient’s life be prolonged?

A:The indication for biventricular pacemaker implantation is based on patient’s symptoms, ECG findings and dys-synchrony study, which is an echocardiography study. It would be appropriate that patient come to the hospital for consultation and the required tests. It is to be stated clearly that biventricular pacemaker implantation does improve the quality of life and also increase the life span. However, it cannot be defined in discrete term (in years) about predicted longevity. An approximate total cost of procedure including the cost of pacemaker, hospitalisation & implantation charges would be Rs 4.50 lakhs

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