Doctors in Ho Chi Minh City have performed a successful heart surgery on their youngest patient, a two-week-old baby who weighs less than 2 kilograms from the Mekong Delta.
The baby's condition is stable after the surgery at the Children's Hospital No.1 on Monday, doctors said, adding that the success was "beyond expectations."
The baby boy and his twin brother were born at 35 weeks gestation at a hospital in An Giang Province on May 18.
He breathed quick and short breaths and looked pale.
The An Giang Hospital transferred both of them to Ho Chi Minh City ten days later and he was diagnosed with respiratory failure. Tests have found that his brother is healthy.
An ultrasound scan found he suffered inborn deformities at the pulmonary veins.
Nguyen Duc Tuan, chief heart surgeon at the hospital, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that pulmonary veins carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart, but the veins of the baby failed to function properly.
Tuan said they knew that the chance of a successful surgery is only 30 percent, but he could be able to live normally after the intervention, which included a complex cardiopulmonary bypass procedure.
He said the patient was too young and too small so the person operating the machine had to be very careful with the amount of blood to avoid causing brain hemorrhage and loss of senses.
He said after the heart is stable, doctors at the hospital will move on to treat his lungs, which have not functioned well either.
Tuan said the treatment could take months.
The hospital performed its first open heart surgery on a child eight years ago. But the twin boy was the youngest and thus the most complicated of more than 1,800 cases, he said.
Father of the boy, 26, said he is still worried as the boy still needs special care.
The father is staying at the hospital while his wife is at home with the other twin.