Heart repair breakthroughs replace surgeon's knife - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Heart repair breakthroughs replace surgeon's knife

By MARILYNN MARCHIONE
AP Chief Medical Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Have a heart problem? If it's fixable, there's a good chance it can be done without surgery, using tiny tools and devices that are pushed through tubes into blood vessels.

Many problems that once required sawing through the breastbone and opening up the chest for open heart surgery now can be treated with a nip, twist or patch through a tube.

These minimal procedures used to be done just to unclog arteries and correct less common heart rhythm problems. Now some patients are getting such repairs for valves, irregular heartbeats, holes in the heart and other defects - without major surgery. Doctors even are testing ways to treat high blood pressure with some of these new approaches.

All rely on catheters - hollow tubes that let doctors burn away and reshape heart tissue or correct defects through small holes into blood vessels.

 

Online:

Heart conditions and treatments: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/index.htm

American Heart Association: www.heart.org

Atrial fibrillation info: http://bit.ly/odcTTM

 

Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
Can't find what you're looking for?

WRCB-TV
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 267-5412

WRCB Jobs EEO | FCC Public Files

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WRCB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.