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Indian American doctor first to treat heart failure

Post life-saving surgery, the patient showed signs of recovery immediately.

Image- Indranill Basu-Ray website

Indian American physician Indranill Basu Ray of the Memphis VA Medical Center performed the first CCM (Cardiac Contractility Modulation) Therapy in the Mid-South on a heart failure patient, Lewis McCrainey, along with Dr Afamefuna Onuora and an expert team at the VA Medical Center in Memphis, TN.

According to a report by Action News 5, Memphis VA Medical Center is the first hospital in the locality to treat heart failure patients fighting for survival, with 21st-century technology. "The goal is to provide a better quality of life for veterans who suffer from chronic heart failure," the Center said.

Dr Basu Ray, the director of Cardiovascular Research, implanted a device by Impulse Dynamics into the patient, which provided electrical pulses to the heart five times a day, improving the heart's ability to contract and push oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. The doctor told Action News 5 that the patient could not walk the six feet stretch to the washroom attached to his bedroom. "He couldn’t complete one single sentence, he was so breathless," the doctor said.

Post life-saving surgery, the patient showed signs of recovery immediately. The doctor told the media that he was able to talk in three to four days. The patient was quoted as saying, “It has helped me in terms of breathing in the short term.” He hopes that it will improve both breathing and regular activities in the long run.

The Action News 5 report noted that the implant is about the size of a key fob. It added that, unlike a pacemaker that mandates battery replacement, the device can be charged via Bluetooth. The FDA-approved treatment costs US$24,000. Dr Basu Ray emphasized that the CCM therapy is "truly life-changing," and mentioned that the cost of treatment at their centre is at zero charges.