New Procedure for Heart Surgery

By: Risa Avila
By: Risa Avila

Open-heart surgery could be a thing of the past for some. Doctors at the Nebraska Heart Institute are now performing a new procedure for a certain type of heart attack complication.

Marianna Schilling was the first patient to receive this procedure at the Nebraska Heart Institute. Only two percent of people who experience a heart attack develop this unique defect. This is where the wall between the two bottom chambers of the heart ruptures. This is known as Ventricular Septal Defect where holes in the heart tissue develop after a heart attack. In the past, the only option was to perform open-heart surgery.

Dr. Bhoopalam, a cardiologist at the Nebraska Heart Institute says, "The mortality with open heart surgery even in the best of hands has been very high because the surgeon cannot find healthy tissue to suture these patches."

But now a better option is available.

"We approach the patient through the leg through the femoral vein and go through the artery and the catheter are taken up through the left side. This defect or hole is crossed across and these cables and wires are pulled out through the neck," says Dr. Bhoopalam.

Lucky for Schilling the recovery is also much quicker. She can't wait to get out of the hospital and enjoy her family.

"I have nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren and they are so cute,” says Schilling.

Schilling is also thankful Dr. Bhoopalam has given her a second chance at life.

"This gorgeous young man took care of all of that."

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