LHSC announces a Cardiac Surgery World First

Complicated Surgery simplified by New Device

LONDON, ON, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - Doctors at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) are the first in the world to use a new implantable surgical device that promises to revolutionize aortic valve bypass surgery.

On November 3, 2010, LHSC's cardiac surgery team led by Drs. Bob Kiaii and Linrui Guo successfully performed an aortic valve bypass using a specialized Aortic Valve Bypass (AVB) device. This was done to treat a patient with critical aortic stenosis who could not have conventional treatments due to his underlying high risk condition. "There were no options left for the patient. He was at a point where no more than 30% of his blood was being pumped out of his heart. Not only was he severely fatigued and weakened, but he was at a high risk for having a stroke," explains Dr. Kiaii, chair/chief of the cardiac surgery team.

The aortic valve bypass using the Correx AVB device promises to reduce the complexity of this very difficult surgery. It involves a specialized delivery mechanism that renders the surgery almost bloodless and it eliminates the need to stop the heart and put the patient on a heart-lung bypass machine. "The Correx AVB device makes aortic valve bypass surgery much safer for the patient and their recovery time is faster. The added benefit is that it is also an easier surgery for cardiac surgeons to perform, which should increase treatment options for patients with critical aortic stenosis," says Dr. Guo, cardiac surgeon.

Gunars Liepens, 75, from London, Ontario, is the first person in the world to undergo this procedure using the AVB device. He has recuperated from his surgery and is doing well. "Before the surgery, I could barely do five minutes on the treadmill and I was tired constantly. Right after the surgery, I felt better. Now, I am up to 30 minutes a day on the treadmill and I am able to go out with my wife on outings," says Mr. Liepens.

LHSC's CSTAR program helped test and validate the device made by Correx Inc. of Waltham, MA. Surgeons from LHSC, as well as, from Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and Foothills Medical Centre in Alberta were trained at CSTAR's facilities. In addition, leading heart surgeons from Europe will soon be coming to CSTAR to learn how to perform this surgery and implant the device in patients with critical aortic stenosis.

LHSC's President and CEO, Bonnie Adamson congratulated the LHSC staff and surgeons. "This is a great example of the ongoing and proud tradition of medical firsts at LHSC."

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 135 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children's Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes - Children's Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph's Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital's nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca

SOURCE London Health Sciences Centre

For further information:

For media inquiries contact:       

Stephan Beckhoff
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772
stephan.beckhoff@lhsc.on.ca

After-hours assistance:

Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call

Visit the LHSC Media web site atwww.lhsc.on.ca/media

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