Russian cardiac revolution

Russian doctors have carried out a revolution in cardiac surgery. Thousands of patients with heart defects can have a normal life now. Experts from the Bakulev Scientific Centre of Cardiovascular Surgery have developed and implanted an artificial heart valve that does not cause post-surgery complications.

Patient Nina Golovid was delivered to hospital on the brink of death. She had a severe case of heart defect. Millions of people in the world die of this condition every year. They are killed by heart failure or heart attack that are frequent consequences of cardiac defects. It was decided to implant a new artificial valve to save the patient’s life. The three-hour surgery was supervised by Director of the Bakulev Scientific Centre of Cardiovascular Surgery Leo Bokeria, one of the best cardiac surgeons of the country.

“The patient is 63 years old. She was originally in a very poor condition. Now she feels all right. We have removed the tube and she breathes on her own. She has been transferred from an intensive-care unit to an ordinary ward. Her prospects are good because the new valve does not resist the blood flow. The patient does not have to restrict herself any more.”

The full-flow heart valve is a Russian invention. It allows the blood to pass to the aorta freely. It involves much lower rejection risk than its predecessors and it is more lasting. Biological valves of the previous generation that were made of animal tissues needed replacement every seven years. The new Russian implant is made of light and durable material which is capable of serving for over 10 years.

The main argument is that it is the safest artificial valve at present. It will do even for little children. Actually, it was originally developed for them. The previous mechanisms often caused complications, such as blood coagulation disorders that resulted in thrombosis which is a life-threatening condition. The Russian product has carried out a revolution in treating cardiovascular diseases, Director of the Department of Children’s Cardiac Surgery at the Novosibirsk Institute of Blood Circulation Pathology Yuri Gorbatykh says.

“This is a very good idea. The functioning features of the tricuspid full-flow valve in the blood flow are similar to those of the natural valve. I do not know of any foreign counterparts of tricuspid valves. It is quite possible that the results will be much better than with valves that are available on the market at present.”

Now patients with cardiac defects have a hope for salvation. Tens of thousands of cardiac patients annually need this kind of surgery in Russia alone. Among them there are a lot of children for whom it is much more difficult to endure heart defects than for adults.

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