National Heart Centre of Singapore (NHC) achieves dramatic results for Dor surgery performed on its eight heart failure patients who would otherwise be dead if not for the surgery. This procedure was named after its founder Dr Vincent Dor and it involves reconstructing the shape and size of the heart. All the patients were discharged after an average length of stay of 10-14 days.
Its youngest patient is a 36-year-old musician who suffered two heart attacks and was in severe heart failure with an ejection fraction (EF) of less than 20% which describes the percentage of blood pumped out of the filled ventricle. EF is measured in the left ventricle as it is the heart's main pumping chamber. A normal ejection fraction is 50% to 75%. The patient was in persistent heart failure and his only option was a heart transplant.
It took four to six months of intense medical therapy to stablise his condition and prepare him for surgery. Two bypass grafts and the Dor procedure were done and within 2 weeks, he was discharged from the hospital. This patient has since returned to work and is doing well.
The oldest patient who underwent the Dor procedure is a 70-year-old Malay female who had suffered from a heart attack. She was admitted into NHC twice for congestive heart failure within a month. Her ejection fraction was 20% and her heart was severely enlarged. She underwent three bypass grafts and the Dor procedure and has now recovered fully. She has had no readmissions for heart failure to date and is now able to resume her usual routine activities without feeling breathless.
The Dor procedure has significantly improved the quality of the lives of the heart failure patients who are on the transplant waiting list and those whose heart failure is not yet severe enough to be put on the waiting list.