Super Seven

A Mighty heart

Nothing less than healthcare for all will satisfy this cardiologist

RA Chandroo

In a brightly-lit operating theatre on a sunny Thursday afternoon, Devi Prasad Shetty replaces an aortic valve on a 65-year-old woman as “Guzaarish”, a song from Aamir Khan’s movie Ghajini, plays through discreetly placed Bose speakers. The scene is nothing like the ones we’ve seen in the popular TV series Grey’s Anatomy — no alarms and beepers going off almost every minute, no frenetic running around. It is so calm and serene that you could forget there is a woman lying on the table with a sawed-open chest and a stopped heart. Shetty believes such a relaxed environment is essential for doctors to perform at their best in a profession that leaves no room for error; at the same time, he says surgery is more like art and surgeons more like artists. Indeed, he sews the valve in place with dark blue sutures much like a painter working on a canvas.