Baby released from hospital after one-of-a-kind operation

Baby released from hospital after one-of-a-kind operation

SHIZUOKA - An 8-month-old boy who successfully underwent a difficult operation to correct three serious heart conditions last month at Shizuoka Children's Hospital in Shizuoka Prefecture has been discharged from the hospital.

According to the hospital, it is rare for a baby to be born with the combination of disorders, and there is no record of a successful operation having been carried out anywhere.

The baby, Mamoru Arikawa, is the second son of Taku Arikawa, 39, from Nakano Ward, Tokyo, and his wife, Yukiko, 35.

The baby, who was born at the same hospital in May, was diagnosed as having three types of congenital heart disorders.

The three disorders are: a hole in the diaphragm between the atrium and the ventricle; pulmonary artery closure with a branch of another artery maintaining pulmonary blood flow; abnormal ventricular function in which the roles of right and left ventricles are reversed.

As the baby grows, these malfunctions would have likely caused failures in multiple organs, according to doctors.

The operation to correct all three conditions took place on Dec. 13, and took 12 hours and 22 minutes. After the operation, Mamoru's heart swelled but his condition gradually stabilized and he left the intensive care unit on Jan. 12.

His parents and doctors met the press at the hospital on Saturday.

Yukiko said she was eternally grateful to doctors for the operation as she was told the operation would be extremely difficult. "When I lifted Mamoru up in my arms about a month after the operation, I was almost crying," she said, looking at her son affectionately.

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