A Canadian first at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) may save lives by shortening the length of time patients undergoing a heart valve operation spend on the operating table.
The LHSC cardiac surgery program is the first in Canada to use a new suture fastening system during open-heart surgery.
During a heart valve operation, a ring or band is placed around the opening of the heart valve in order to repair a leaky valve.
Traditionally, surgeons suture the ring to the opening of the valve and then fasten the sutures by hand-tying a knot. Using the COR-KNOT System, the surgeon places the device over the suture, squeezes the device handle to crimp a titanium fastener, which
securely holds the suture together, and gently tugs the suture to trim away excess suture tails.
“The device allows us to save 45 to 60 minutes of operating room time,” said cardiac surgeon Dr. Bob Kiaii, in a release.
Patients benefit from a shorter operation by spending less time under anesthesia and, more significantly, less time under the control of the heart-lung machine with the heart stopped, which maintains the circulation of blood and oxygen to the body.
“One of the primary risks of heart surgery is the length of time that the patient’s heart and lungs are not working. A shorter operation is a safer operation,” Kiaii added.
Retired teacher Alfred Morrow, 65, was the first patient in Canada to receive the new procedure. Morrow received his heart valve repair operation on December 17, 201 and was home in time for Christmas.
The COR-KNOT System has also been used in hospitals in the United States and Europe.