A cardio-thoracic project in Jaffna with patients’ best interest at heart

With his trailblazing plan, a Lankan doctor from Oxford seeks to fill a life-threatening void in heart surgery in the North.

Dr.-Ravi-Perumalpillai Sri LankaSpotting whom many call “the tallest person in Sri Lanka”, he walks up to him and tells him to hold out his hands, palm downwards, followed by a look into his mouth. After a cursory glance in which he sees “long thinned fingers and a high-arched palate”, he murmurs that 7’3″ tall Kunasingam Kasinthiran has features of Marfan Syndrome and should get it confirmed and followed up at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

As he questions Kasinthiran about some of the symptoms that he has been experiencing, it is obvious that he knows what he is talking about. For, Marfan Syndrome is a genetic disorder of the body’s connective tissue which can cause the aorta (the main vessel taking blood from the heart to the body) to become stretched or weak.

It is not only this very knowledge and skill but also deep concern that has brought eminent Heart Surgeon Dr. Ravi Perumalpillai all the way from Oxford in England to Jaffna in Sri Lanka. The prime mover behind the Oxonian Heart Foundation (OHF), he hopes to help hundreds of men, women and children in the Northern Province as well as the North Central Province and the Eastern Province.

Read More: The SundayTimes


External aortic root support: a histological and mechanical study in sheep



marfan syndrome uk logo squarePersonalized external aortic root support has completed initial evaluation and has technology appraisal in the UK for patients with Marfan syndrome for use as an alternative to root replacement. Its long-term success in preventing aortic dissection remains uncertain. Here, we report a study in sheep to establish whether the externally supporting mesh, as used clinically, is biologically incorporated. The strength of the resulting mesh/artery composite has been tested.


The carotid artery of growing sheep (n = 6) was enclosed in a mesh sleeve made of a polymer, polyethylene terephthalate. After a predefined interval of 4–6 months, a length of the artery was excised, including the sleeved and unsleeved portions, and was stress tested and examined histologically.

Full Article: http://icvts.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/2/334.short?rss=1

Against all odds: A battle for life against Marfan Syndrome


May 21st started out like any other for Andrew Mattison. Before the day was over the 26-year-old timberjack would find himself in a battle for his life and an eight and one-half hour surgery with less than a five percent chance of survival.

That morning Mattison went to work at The Great Smoky Mountain Lumberjack Feud where he works as a performer. On this particular day he was meeting with three co-workers that were helping organize the Stihl U.S. Timbersports Competition. Mattison was seated at a desk in front of computer on a conference call with event organizers. In the office with him were co-workers and long-time friends Chuck Peters, Mike Downs and Matt Samler…

More >>>http://www.knoxvilledailysun.com/lifestyle/2013/june/against-all-odds.html