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Open Heart Surgery Pilot Program – Surgeon Glues the Breastbone Back Together

Posted Nov 12 2009 10:01pm

Open heart surgery is major recuperation when you stop and think of how the breastbone has to grow back together, and in Calgary this surgeon has a process that he has used with a few patients and it seems to be working well, no more wires.

For the patient, these is less pain, a need for less pain medication and overall a better recovery process the article states.  One of the biggest advantages is the ability of the patient to “deep breathe” without as much discomfort.  BD 

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An innovative method is being used to repair the breastbone after it is intentionally broken to provide access to the heart during open-heart surgery. The technique uses a state-of-the-art adhesive that rapidly bonds to bone and accelerates the recovery process.

"We can now heal the breastbone in hours instead of weeks after open-heart surgery. Patients can make a full recovery after surgery and get back to full physical activities in days instead of months," reports Dr. Paul W.M. Fedak, MD PhD FRCSC, a cardiac surgeon at Foothills Medical Centre and scientist at the Faculty of Medicine who pioneered the new procedure.

Over 20 patients have received the new technique in Calgary as part of a pilot study. Fedak and Kathryn King, RN PhD are the co-principal investigators on the study. King, a cardiovascular nurse scientist, is an expert in post-operative recovery after open-heart surgery. "We know that recovery from sternotomy is a multi-faceted process that includes not only healing of the breastbone but the ability to return to normal activities," she says. "Being able to resume normal activities is a hallmark of a good recovery; this surgical innovation should enable that."

After his chest was 'glued' back together using Kryptonite adhesive and wires he had an entirely different experience. "I had a little bit of pain, but this was a walk in the park compared to my earlier recovery. I can do anything I could do prior to the original surgery. I feel wonderful."

Surgeon 'gluing' the breastbone together after open-heart surgery

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