Khudair Jwan Kassab, Heart Care, Iraq


Treated at 91!

91 year old Khudair Jwan Kassab had congenital heart valve disease. Living in Iraq and father of 14, life was getting progresively more difficult for Khudair when one of his heart vessels was blocked. Breathing became more difficult with every step he would take and he had chest pains. Khudair found health in Istanbul; with a valve replaced during coronery surgery at the International Hospital Khudair’s heart is now 10 years younger.

He needed urgent surgery
Khudair Jwan Kassab was born 91 years ago with congenital heart disease. Although Khudair had some minor problems he was routinely under his doctors control. Khudair, a farmer living in Najaf, Iraq is a father of 14 children ranging in age from the oldest at 39 to the youngest at 8. He recently was experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains. During examinations in his home country, he found out that his heart valves were fully non-functional and had to be operated on urgently.

His heart valves were totally blocked
Finding his way to the International Hospital in Istanbul, 91 year old Khudair was examined by Cardio-Vascular Physician Doc. Dr. Süleyman Özkan and his team. In addition to his heart valves, they found that one of his arteries was also partially blocked. Although this meant that surgery was inevitable it was considered to be of considerable risk because of Khudair’s age. Doc. Dr. Süleyman Özkan, indicating that the valves had become so arthritic that they were not able to function properly went on to say “since patients at this age are less active their complaints are generally overshadowed. However, this was not the case with this patient who is quite active and was seriously experiencing his heart complications. We decided to go ahead with the operation in spite of his age.”

Surgery was 10 times more difficult as compared to surgery on a younger person
The International Hospital’s Cardio-Vascular Physician Doc. Dr. Süleyman Özkan and his team simultaneously undertook a dual procedure to adress both Khudair’s heart valve complications as well as the arterial blockage. His heart valve was replaced and his artery by-passed in what is called mitral coronery surgery. Carrying 5 times more risk as compared to non-mitral coronery surgery, mitral coronery surgery according to Doc. Dr. Özkan “and considering the age of this patient we can say in this case that the risk is increased by up to 10 times more. These patients post operative phase is also more critical. However, in this instance both the surgery as well as the following phases were extremely succesful. Our patient is currently very healthy and ready to return to his country.

His heart is now 10 years younger
With this operation we can say that our patients heart is 10 years younger now. Barring anything unexpected he can continue a healthy life with this heart for another 10 years. We rarely see procedures of this type in those over the age of 80; what this actually shows us is that life expectancy has increased and of course that surgical procedures have reached very advanced stages.”

He will return to his country a healthy man
Khudair, after having miraculously fathered a child at the age of 84 indicated that he was very happy to have a new heart. “before the surgery, I wasn’t able to walk or even breath without difficulty. Now I feel very good. I would like to get back home and continue with a healthy life as soon as possible.”