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Experimental treatments for seniors with heart disease. “There are more and more of these patients”

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For patients after heart attacks, the medical experiment in Lublin is very good news. Mr. Wiesław, who pedals a stationary bike in the operating room, does not look like a patient undergoing major surgery.

A patient who pedals a bicycle in a horizontal position is a rare sight in the operating room. Wiesław Gębala, seventy-eight, chatted with doctors during the ride. – Of course, I was talking all the time. They asked: how are you feeling? Can you and so on. And that's it – he reports.

Experimental treatment

After two heart attacks and heart failure, he agreed to take part in a medical experiment. – It won't really bother me anymore, I've lived so many years, I can once again devote myself to science – that's what I told the doctor – – says Mr. Wiesław, smiling. While pedaling, doctors examined how Mr. Wiesław's sick heart worked. They measured, among other things, the pressure in the heart chambers and pulmonary arteries. And only after checking these and other parameters, they implanted two devices – small blood flow reducers – into his right and left pulmonary arteries.

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The reduction tube, or funnel, increases the pressure in the right ventricle of the heart, improving the functioning of the left ventricle. The second patient, Stanisław Toporski, seventy-three, also underwent a similar procedure. He also had heart failure.

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– In short, the functioning of the left ventricle should be better, which for them should translate into the fact that they will be in the hospital less often, they will be able to stay longer and they will be less tired. It's a bit complicated, but that's how it is – admits Dr. Hab. Piotr Waciński, head of the Clinical Department of Invasive Cardiology at the Independent Public Clinical Hospital No. 4 in Lublin.

“There are more and more of these patients”

Doctors are really proud of these treatments, so it's no wonder that they showed off one of their patients at a press conference today. The method was developed by scientists from Israel. The first patients are undergoing these procedures in various centers around the world – in Poland, in Lublin. The aim is to improve the quality of life and extend it in patients over the age of seventy who have suffered one or even several heart attacks. – If the method turns out to be effective, as we hope, it will be a chance for those patients for whom standard methods initially do not bring results, and there are more and more of these patients. This is a huge group of patients for whom these standard therapies have exhausted their possibilities – explains Dr. Andrzej Madejczyk from Clinical Department of Invasive Cardiology at the Independent Public Clinical Hospital No. 4 in Lublin. This was the case with Mr. Wiesław Gębala. His heart was already in such a bad condition that the patient would be suitable for a new heart transplant, but medicine does not offer new hearts to patients at this age.

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– Right now, these patients are going home in good shape. In fact, you saw that the patient was walking very briskly – says Dr. Hab. Piotr Waciński.

The second patient is in no way inferior to Mr. Gębala, he also walks briskly and was also discharged home. – So far I had problems with walking, I don't know if it helped, but I had nothing else and now I feel like it's all going away – says Stanisław Toporowski.

The next experimental treatments in Lublin will take place in April.

Main photo source: Independent Public Clinical Hospital No. 4 in Lublin

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