This is pretty significant, removing the need to cut open the chest and breaking the breastbone will make the procedures that much safer and the recovery much less painful.
Have a heart problem? If it's fixable, there's a good chance it can be done without surgery, using tiny tools and devices that are pushed through tubes into blood vessels.
Heart care is in the midst of a transformation. Many problems that once required sawing through the breastbone and opening up the chest for open heart surgery now can be treated with a nip, twist or patch through a tube.
These minimal procedures used to be done just to unclog arteries and correct less common heart rhythm problems. Now some patients are getting such repairs for valves, irregular heartbeats, holes in the heart and other defects — without major surgery. Doctors even are testing ways to treat high blood pressure with some of these new approaches.
I think it's a great idea, but as always this is just a band-aid for the much bigger, and more obvious problem: Finding a way to change the masses' diet and lifestyle so the staggering number of people being diagnosed with heart disease, conditions, and defects will drop.
Pretty cool stuff. I always wonder how long things like this become mainstream in medicine. You always hear about new methods/breakthroughs occurring at hospitals around the world, but you never have an idea about how long something like this would take to get to your own hospitals.
A friend of mine had to have open heart surgery years ago for a defect in one of his valves, the valve had to be replaced. A year later the surgery had to be redone completely because he had an infection in the new valve. If new practice like this could've been used on him, man, the amount of pain/inconvenience/anxiety he suffered could've been reduced greatly.
Also innovations like this can reduce the amount of long term medical costs. If surgeries are not longer invasive there's a greatly reduced chance of complications/infections.