An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Closed Heart Surgery

Medical science is advancing at a faster pace than at any other time in the known history.. and that is bringing new hope to people who didnt have any. With the world population growing older by the day it seems as if the field of medicine will need to come up with some really astonishing stuff to keep the world’s aging mass healthy!

Just read this article and specially the stuff on artificial valve inserted by pushing it up one leg artery….

Dr. Samuel Lichtenstein cut a 2-inch hole between an elderly man’s ribs. Peering inside, he poked a pencil-sized wire up into the chest, piercing the bottom of the man’s heart. Within minutes, Bud Boyer would have a new heart valve – without having his chest cracked open. Call it closed-heart surgery.

“I consider it some kind of magic,” said Boyer, who left the Vancouver, British Columbia, hospital a day later and was almost fully recovered in just two weeks.

In Michigan, Dr. William O’Neill slipped an artificial valve through an even tinier opening. He pushed the valve up a patient’s leg artery until it lodged in just the right spot in the still-beating heart.

The dramatic experiments, in a few hospitals in the U.S., Canada and Europe, are designed to find easier ways to replace diseased heart valves that threaten the lives of tens of thousands of people every year. The experiments are starting with the aortic valve that is the heart’s key doorway to the body.

The need for a less invasive alternative is great and growing. Already, about 50,000 people in the U.S. have open-heart surgery every year to replace the aortic valve. Surgeons saw the breastbone in half, stop the heart, cut out the old valve and sew in a new one. Even the best patients spend a week in the hospital and require two months or three months to recuperate.

Thousands more are turned away, deemed too ill to survive that operation and out of options. Demand is poised to skyrocket as the baby boomers gray; the aortic valve is particularly vulnerable to rusting shut with age.

The new experiments are a radical departure from that proven, if arduous, surgery.

The artificial valves do not even look like valves, squished inside metal cages until they are wedged into place. Barely 150 of any type have been implanted worldwide, most in the last year. It is unclear if they will work as well as traditional valve replacements, which last decades.

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