Bhubaneswar: Odisha has the knack of producing top notch cardiac surgeons who operate on the President and Prime Minister.
On Tuesday, Odisha-born Dr AK Bisoyi, who is one of the senior-most cardiac surgeons at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, headed the team that conducted a bypass procedure on President Ram Nath Kovind.
Similarly, another Odisha-native Dr Ramakanta Panda and his team has conducted a critical redo cardiac surgery, including five bypasses, on the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2009.
A renowned cardiovascular thoracic surgeon, Dr Panda is the vice-chairman of Asian Heart Institute.
Following his surgery, the former PM been living an active and healthy life, thanks to the help of an exemplary team of doctors.
Dr Panda says he still remembers the day he received an appreciation letter from Singh that acknowledged his skills as a heart surgeon. “Dr Singh has strictly pursued his health regimen and cardiac follow-ups. He is a very good patient,” he was quoted as saying by The Economic Times.
Dr Panda, who has performed over 24,000 heart surgeries, is rated among the world’s top heart surgeons, having treated VVIPs such as former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav, former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, Rajya Sabha member D Raja, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s husband Parakala Prabhakar, actor Dilip Kumar, Telugu actor Brahmanandam Kanneganti, veteran Odisha politician and former Law Minister Narasingha Mishra, global leaders, eminent industrialists, parliamentarians and actors.
Today, Dr Panda is referred to as the cardiac surgeon with the Midas touch. But his rise to the top had its share of hiccups.
After completing his post-graduation in cardiac surgery between 1980 and 1985, Dr Panda went to Cleveland Clinic for further training. However, on his return to India, he had no work. “To build up a practice, I had to take up really complex cases referred by cardiologists, which other surgeons had refused. In hindsight, it was that choice that slowly but surely built my reputation,” he said.
And that’s the thing that still keeps him going — challenge. Of all the surgeries he has performed so far, 20 per cent have been inoperable.
This Odisha-born surgeon also holds the world record for performing a 12-graft procedure on a Hyderabad patient with 17 blocks in 2014. The world average for the number of bypass grafts in one cardiac surgery is around three.