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Sunday, 23 July 2006 10:17
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Doctors repair heart attack damage without using open-heart surgery
UK doctors have revealed that they have been able to repair heart attack damage without using open-heart surgery.

The King's College Hospital London team used a 10mm-long device to plug a gap in the heart wall of a 75-year-old man.

Heart surgeon Mr Wendler and Dr Jonathon Hill carried out the procedure at King's after the patient's quadruple heart bypass.

After normal blood supply had been restored, the tiny device - made of rolled up metal mesh - was placed into the hole in the heart wall via an incision in the right heart.

It was then unfolded so it formed umbrella shapes on either side of the wall, with a segment in the middle filling the hole.

The patient was taken off the mechanical ventilator the next morning and was able to return home a few weeks later.

Mr Wendler said: "This represents a huge step forward in treatment of heart rupture.

"Until now, the only way we had of treating inner rupture to the heart was the conventional open-heart surgery, with its high risk.

"Because we are now able to use this less invasive approach we hope to have better results in the future.

"We are encouraged by this outcome and we will be exploring the possibility of establishing this as a regular procedure for suitable patients”.

Dr Mike Knapton, director of prevention and care at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This is a welcome advance in the surgical treatment of ventricular wall rupture, which is an uncommon but devastating complication of heart attack.

"Surgical treatment to repair the rupture is required and this new procedure reduces the trauma to the already damaged heart”.
   


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