Minimally Invasive Cardiac Treatments
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Learn how our doctors are using minimally invasive
techniques, including robotics, to repair two
patients' hearts without opening their chests,
reducing the patients' discomfort, recovery time
and need for medications. While both patients
are in their late 30s, their conditions vary -
one has mitral valve prolapse and requires surgery,
the other has an abnormal heart rhythm called
atrial fibrillation and is undergoing a therapy
pioneered at Penn.
Ken Bull, a 39 year old with a wife, young daughter
and another child on the way, is an avid athlete,
whose lifestyle has been negatively impacted by
a rapid, irregular heart rate condition known
as atrial fibrillation. In an effort to avoid
taking multiple medications the rest of life,
as well as the possibility of not being able to
play sports again, Ken has turned to the Penn
Cardiac Care team, led by Francis
Marchlinski, MD, with the hope of eliminating
his heart rhythm disturbances forever.
Several years ago, Stephen Griboski discovered
he had mitral valve prolapse, a leaky, faulty
valve, which essentially allows blood to be pumped
back into the lungs. Though he was short of breath
at times, Stephen continued to live life as normal,
but a visit to his doctor changed his perspective.
If he didn't undergo valve repair surgery, he
would be at a higher risk of developing heart
disease and/or experiencing a heart attack and
be a likely candidate for a heart transplant.
Based on the suggestion of his interventional
Hirshfeld, MD, Stephen has chosen to undergo
the latest technical advancement in cardiac surgery
- robotics. Tune into the show to see how it is
performed and the results of this amazing technology.
Originally aired April 2003.