How technology has shaped the field of cardiac surgery
Over time, technology has almost taken over the medical world and has led to the invention of several drugs, treatments, and devices. Similarly, in the field of cardiac surgery, technology has contributed a lot by giving rise to several types of operations and procedures.
Among the surgeries involved in the medical world, the field of cardiac surgery is considered to be the one with vast aspects of innovation. Be it in the methods of operations, or the usage of devices, the world of cardiac surgery has gone through considerable changes. Even the diseases which were previously considered to be untreatable can now be cured with the help of the innovation in the medical world.
Dr. Zainulabedin Hamdulay, a leading cardiac surgeon based in Mumbai highlighting some of the notable surgeries which have been proved to be a boon in the recent period are mentioned below.
TAVI, or Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, refers to a condition when the aortic valve, responsible for pumping blood to the whole body, cannot open and close properly. The state increases the strain on the individual's heart, and it may result in immense chest pain, breathlessness, swollen ankles, and much more.
Through the treatment of TAVI, the aortic valve is implanted with the help of a narrow tube. Due to technological versatility, Transcatheter aortic valves have been designed with natural tissues of a cow or a pig and attached to a flexible expanding mesh frame.
The process of transplantation is performed by squeezing the valve around or inside a catheter. After it is successfully done, the catheter is inserted into the aortic valve and implanted over your existing pipe. The catheter is removed by removed after the valve has been implanted and starts working right.
TMVR or Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair has been designed for those who are unable to go through an operation. Thus, the process of treatment has been introduced to provide an alternative to the ones who are unable to undertake an open-heart surgery.
The particular device is made of metal and polyester and aims to wipe off the symptoms of mitral regurgitation and reduces the chance of complete heart failure.
During the process, an opening is made in the femoral vein, and a catheter is approached towards the heart through a guide wire. The site is then taken to the left atrium before finally removing it. After the removal is successfully done, the clip is eased into the atrium, through the catheter. The leaflet like arms of the catheter then opens and gets implanted over the valves. These two arms then create two smaller channels that are capable of preventing the backflow of blood.
Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
The particular surgery is done by making small incisions on the right side of the chest of the patient's body. It is also done as an alternative method to the open-heart surgery. Unlike open-heart surgery, the cut is not attempted through the breastbone but on the ribs, which results in less strain on the patient and also ensures a quicker recovery.
Minimally invasive heart surgery has been considered to be a better option than the open-heart surgery in some instances as the surgeon can get a close-up view of each part of the heart. This can help to treat several conditions of the heart too.
As we are now proceeding towards the age of artificial intelligence, living with an artificial heart, is no big deal. It is a particular device that is capable of replacing a human heart. It is an alternative method that has been brought to the forth to treat the individuals who cannot withstand a procedure of heart transplantation.
It was intended to support a failing heart that is incapable of performing its activities. However, it differs a lot from the two similar devices, ventricular assist device, and cardiopulmonary bypass machine.
The device is only attempted in the case when the individual's heart is about to fail, and the individual's body is not ready to go through heart implantation.
EVMO or Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation is much similar to the heart-lung by-pass machine which pumps out the blood from the patient's body during open-heart surgery, helping the lungs and heart to rest.
ECMO is connected to the body to promote blood flow and oxygen to an artificial lung through a tube and accumulates the carbon dioxide. The blood taken is then warmed to body temperature and again pumped back to the individual's body.
The two types of ECMO that have been brought to the knowledge are, VA ECMO and VV ECMO. While the VA ECMO connects both to the vein and the artery in case the individual is suffering from the problems of both heart and lungs, the VV ECMO is capable of connecting to multiple veins and in the case of treating issues related to the lungs only.
Over time, a substitute and portable measure for ECMO has also been discovered, which is referred to as the USCF. Unlike the bulky ECMO device, the USCF can easily be carried because of its light-weight modification. The best part about the tool is that it can be used to provide instant support to the individuals and can be installed even in the ambulance.
LVAD or left ventricular assist device is a mechanical heart pump which is placed inside the chest of a person and helps the heart to pump blood and circulate it to the body.
Though some mistakes it thinking it to be similar to an artificial heart, but it is not so. In this case, the LVAD does not replace the heart like the artificial heart does but aims to improve its performance. In the cases, where specific individuals are unable to go through a heart transplant surgery or even the minimal surgery required for installing an artificial heart, the LVAD procedure is brought into use, helping the individuals survive.
Having said how technology has shaped the process of cardiac surgeries over time, we can avail the option to make a choice between life and death.