Repair Hole in Heart Without Open Heart Surgery

Repair Hole in Heart Without Open Heart Surgery
By: Tiffany Sisson

Cape Girardeau, MO - At 70- years- old, Jeanette Bollinger is getting rid of something she's had nearly her entire life. "Possibly, I may have been born with it," Bollinger.
Jeanette has a hole in her heart, "When they tell you, you have a hole in your heart, you kind of think is this gonna be really, really bad."
Had doctors delivered this news a few years earlier, her outlook could have been different. "It kind of makes me feel like the good Lord was watching over me, and we didn't discover this earlier and now we can do this the simple way, " explained Bollinger.
Dr. David Law is a cardiologist, "In the old days, the only way to fix that was with surgery, actually open up the heart, put a stitch in there and close that."
Jeanette has already had four other surgeries. Her doctors didn't think she would be strong enough to survive an open heart procedure. Dr. Law turned to cardioSEAL. "We deploy a special device that closes the hole and we do that under x-rays and ultrasound to make sure we're in the right place, said Law.
Jeanette's hole is about a 1/2 inch in diameter, It causes the blood to not flow properly, spilling into the lungs, causing a shortness of breath and possibly a stroke. In a nearly hour long procedure, Law guides a catheter from a major vein in the groin to her heart. Once there, the cardioSEAL is folded into a special catheter. It looks like two tiny fabric umbrellas about the size of a quarter. The implant is released from the catheter, the umbrellas spring towards the hole, closing it off. "This is a lot better option for people as far as getting back into their normal activities within the same day," said Law.
Over time the tissue grows into the implant fabric, becoming part of the heart. It's intended to stay there forever.