A new way to help surgeons reconstruct the heart...takes the guesswork out of free handing the shape..suture done...egg removed...BD
Lavery suffered a heart attack a dozen years ago, and doctors performed a quintuple bypass, restoring some blood flow to his damaged heart muscle. A little more than a year ago, Lavery's doctor said he needed surgery because progressing end-stage congestive heart failure gave him a 50-50 chance of dying in a year. "It was like you couldn't catch your breath again, and it really did hurt," Lavery said.
Lavery's heart surgeon is Dr. Neil J. Thomas of Methodist Hospitals in Merrillville, Ind. He said medicines were no longer helping, and he wanted to reshape Lavery's heart to make it work better. "It's a procedure that's been done for decades, but it has been very variable," and often imprecise, said Thomas.
Thomas said the egg takes the guesswork out of heart reconstruction. "We know the ventricle should be shaped like this cone. It should not be round like a ball," a shape he says is inefficient as a pump and can sometimes result from freehand surgical stitching. Bioventrix, a San Ramon medical device company, came up with what the company calls the "incredible, inedible egg" made of blue silicone.
The egg is FDA-approved, and Bioventrix is now conducting a post-marketing clinical trial. But Bertolero said a recent study of about 50 patients shows that "surgeons that have used the blue egg are getting basically twice the improvement over the freehand method."