Oklahoma City, OK (PRWEB) June 28, 2012
In line with the trend toward treating heart disease with less invasive surgical procedures, Oklahoma City pediatric cardiac surgeon Dr. Marco Paliotta has developed an innovative procedure that allows definitive repair of atrial septal defects through a small incision on the side of the chest. His most recent patient was released from the hospital after only four days.
Simply put, an atrial septal defect (ASD) is a "hole in heart." Specifically, the wall separating the upper chambers of the heart (right and left atrium) does not develop completely, allowing blood from the left atrium to leak into the right atrium. Over time, this will cause enlargement of the right atrium and right ventricle with potential for arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm), possible damage to lung function, and an increased risk for stroke. Typically ASDs are diagnosed during a routine physical exam performed by a family doctor or pediatrician who hears a murmur while listening to the chest. To follow, the patient is referred to a cardiologist who will evaluate the size of the defect. If the ASD is large and the borders of the defect are stable, it can be closed with a "device." This is the best situation. That is, the defect can be bridged with a "device" (kind of resembles a wire mesh birds nest) that recreates the wall between the two atria. Sometimes, however, due to the anatomic characteristics of the ASD, the cardiologist cannot close the "hole," and the patient has to undergo surgery.
Until ten to fifteen years ago, surgery was the only way to close an ASD, and like most heart surgeries, it was, and still is, fairly invasive. Although it is considered a fairly simple and straight forward operation, in most centers it is still performed through a long incision in the middle of the chest (called "cracking the chest"). Dr. Paliotta has used his experience and expertise to devise a procedure that securely closes ASDs in a less invasive manner. He recently performed the procedure on a young girl who was discharged from the Children's Hospital of Oklahoma after just 4 days with only a well hidden, one and half inch incision on the right side of the chest. Dr. Paliotta states "this operation can be safely and effectively performed on anyone who is more the 4-5 years old. It is done by going in between the ribs and not through the front, as has been done traditionally." It is nice to know that medical and surgical innovations are still happening in Oklahoma City.
Dr. Paliotta , attended medical school at the University of Rome – La Sapienza and currently serves as Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma’s Health Science Center, specializing in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. In addition to volunteering with the International Children's Hospital Foundation (ICHF), Dr. Paliotta also supports the American Heart Association, Corazon con Esperanza, and Habitat for Humanity. His profile can be viewed at ctsnet.org