UK surgeon offers a less invasive take on heart surgery

DUBAI // Heart surgery is usually carried out in an operating theatre, and is certainly not for the squeamish. However, visitors to the Arab Health exhibition were able to get up close to doctors as they performed the delicate procedure, albeit on a rubber patient. Dr Ulrich Rosendahl, consultant cardiac surgeon at the UK’s Royal […]

DUBAI // Heart surgery is usually carried out in an operating theatre, and is certainly not for the squeamish. However, visitors to the Arab Health exhibition were able to get up close to doctors as they performed the delicate procedure, albeit on a rubber patient.

Dr Ulrich Rosendahl, consultant cardiac surgeon at the UK’s Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital, scrubbed up to show off a new and less invasive method of repairing a dilated aortic valve. The demonstration was the first time the personalised external aortic support (Pears) procedure had been carried out in the region.

“The conventional way is more complicated and has a higher morbidity and mortality rate and it can only be done at very specialised centres. The method that we have developed and have been using since 2004 is less invasive and can be done by any cardiac surgeon in hospitals here,” Dr Rosendahl said.

During a normal operation, the dilated aortic valve is removed and replaced. In the Pears procedure the valve is not touched.

“The patient keeps his/her own valve while we go from the outside and put the stent covering the valve. The patient doesn’t need medication,” Dr Rosendahl said.

Although relatively unknown at present, the Pears operation could have a big impact on patients in the region, he said.

“We did the live surgery here and people wanted to know who could be eligible for this as well as how much time they would need to recover.

“Once we have trained surgeons here, doctors here could do it. We are busy trying to find other centres in the world where we can try exporting it,” Dr Rosendahl said, adding that not every patient would be eligible because it is a preventive operation. Surgeons cannot work on a severely dilated aortic valve.

Julia Bileckyj, associate director at Royal Brompton and Harefield, said live demonstrations such as this were a great way to share expertise.

“For the last two years we have been doing the demonstrations and the reason behind that is to share our expertise. We want to help raise awareness and just share information,” she said.

arizvi2@thenational.ae

Source: uae news

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