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TODAY news for Thursday, June 30, 2008

Loma Linda University Medical Center news

LLUMC performs new cardiac procedure for first time in Inland Empire

Aijaz Hashmi, MD
Aijaz Hashmi, MD
If transcatheter closure of a muscular ventricular septal defect (VSD) isn’t exactly a household word, the reason just might be that until June 12, 2008, the procedure had never been performed in the Inland Empire before.

But thanks to a team of interventional cardiologists led by Aijaz Hashmi, MD, two patients of Loma Linda University Medical Center’s adult congenital heart disease program went home the day after they had the new procedure with hearts that work as good as new. Dr. Hashmi credits transcatheter closure with their speedy recovery.

“These patients—one from Banning and one from Bakersfield—represent the first we’ve treated with the transcatheter closure procedure,” Dr. Hashmi says. “It’s much safer than open-heart surgery since it involves no cutting of the chest cavity, no scars, no stopping of the heart, and no pain. Both surgeries went just fine, and one of the patients was able to participate in his brother’s wedding that weekend. To be able to go home less than 24 hours after a heart procedure is remarkable.”

VSD is a heart defect involving an opening, or hole, between the heart’s two lower chambers, or ventricles. The transcatheter closure procedure involves intravenously inserting a wire mesh made of nickel and titanium to close up the gap and allow the heart to pump blood without leakage from the open holes.

Dr. Hashmi predicts widespread application of the transcatheter procedure in the treatment of VSD once its advantages and benefits become more widely known in the medical community.

By James Ponder
This is a VSD occluder.
This is a VSD occluder. The occluder corrects a birth defect that leaves a hole in the lower chambers of the heart. When introduced via catheter into an artery in the patient’s leg, the occluder travels into the heart where it is placed into position without the need to open the chest cavity.

TODAY news for Thursday, June 30, 2008