Y.S. RANA, CHANDIGARH—Although he has done a number of open heart surgeries yet he recalls in vivid details, the rare surgery he performed on 11-month-old Junaid from Pakistan under the Rotary Heartline Project which gave the child a new lease of life. He is Dr T.S Mahant, whom people consider next to God. Once a small town boy of Himachal Pradesh, has made a name for himself in the medical profession not only in the country but at global level with his grit, determination, devotion and perseverance.
Dr TS Mahant needs no introduction. A pioneer in the world of Cardiac Healthcare, Dr Mahant – currently Executive Director (CTVS) at Fortis Healthcare – has introduced many techniques in India, including conducting the first ever surgery for ‘Blue Baby Syndrome.; From deftly handling the most complex corrective procedures in babies as young as 1 day old to coronary revascularization in nonagenarians as old as 90 years. He is worried over increasing trend in heart diseases even in hill States. Time is crucial in a heart attack. Once the damage to the heart occurs it is impossible to completely restore its original function, says he.
Number of open heart operations stacked against his name adds to his stature. Having conducted more than 40,000 open heart surgeries, ranging from new born to 80-year-old patients included simple to complex and congenital. He enjoys the distinction of having done the highest number of surgeries in the country. Of these, he had also conducted 4000 paediatric cardiac procedures. He has also 305 research papers published in India, European and American Journals.
His surgical range is comparable to the world’s best. After doing MBBS from Medical College, Shimla, Dr Mahant did MS in General Surgery and MCh Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery from PGIMER, Chandigarh. Following a stint with Medical College, Shimla, he moved to PGIMER, Chandigarh, and then to SGPGIMS Lucknow, as Additional Professor. At both the institutes, Dr Mahant was the first to have performed the Coronary Artery Bypass and was honoured by PGIMER for making his alma mater proud.
He worked as the Chief Surgeon at Batra Hospital and Medical Research Institute, New Delhi, before joining Fortis Healthcare a decade ago. Dr Mahant remained a topper throughout, including securing the first position in National Board Examination in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery in 1981. Though his heart was set on serving his motherland, Dr Mahant worked towards getting an international experience at USA, New Zealand and Australia.
Bringing honour to the country, he was awarded the prestigious fellowship in Cardiac Surgery at UAB-Alabama, rated one of the best 5 hospitals for Cardiac Surgery globally. Upon his return to India, his excellence in innovation while treating complex cyanotic heart disease made the world sit up and take notice. As a result, there are many noted Paediatric Cardiac Surgeons across the world who had adopted Dr Mahants techniques. He has successfully managed all kinds of catastrophes like dissecting aortic aneurysms, re-do surgeries and valve replacement as well as repairs with equal ease.
Dr Mahant performs multi-vessel bypass procedures on beating heart in patients with various co-morbidities, including acute myocardial infraction and ischemic heart failure. It is for this brilliance that awards always find their way onto Dr Mahants shelves. From the Outstanding Humanitarian Award by Rwanda High Commission in 2014, to Paul Harris Fellow by The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 2011, the appreciations have never stopped flowing. Closer home, he was been felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Meritorious Contribution Towards Human Services by CMA, Lifetime Achievement Award for Medical Tourism in 2014, Dhanwantari Award by NIMA, Award of Honour by International Punjabi Chamber for Service Industry during Punjab Parvasi Diwas, Himachal Rattan Award, and many honours by the Rotary Club. In 2015 he was awarded Global Healthcare Excellence Award for being the Best Cardio Thoracic Surgeon in North India. In 2016 he received the Bharat Jyoti Award for meritorious services by IIFS. Dr Mahant has also been given the honour of being Honorary Advisor to Government of Himachal Pradesh, besides being External Examiner in the Specialty of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery for MCh and National Board of Examinations, (DNB). Blessed with not only a brilliant mind, but also a benevolent heart, he has been the champion of many charitable ventures at Fortis Healthcare. Started under his leadership, the Rotary Heartline Project has seen over 450 children from underprivileged background avail free surgeries. Children from Rwanda, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India have benefitted. He is involved in social ventures under Red Cross, HP and Punjab Government initiatives for BPL families and projects like Quark Prayas, apart from Fortis Chetna programme for saving the girl child. Following the dictum of Simple living, High thinking, Dr Mahant continues to save precious lives through his invaluable contribution to the society.