Sat, Apr 04, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Egg-sized object removed from 80-year-old's heart

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Cardiac surgeons yesterday said they had performed “video-assisted minimal invasive surgery” on an 80-year-old patient and successfully removed a calculus from his heart. A calculus is a stone or concretion formed in an organ in the body.

Chang Hsiao-huang (張效煌), chief cardiac surgeon at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, told a press conference yesterday that the patient, surnamed Lee (李), came to him last September complaining about a pain in his heart. Via a magnetic resonance imaging exam, it was discovered that “something” was behind the left heart chamber of Lee’s heart and Chang suggested surgery.

“We suspect this may be the first case of its kind in the world,” Chang said.

After four hours of surgery, the doctors took out the calculus, which was the size of an egg, from the left chamber of the heart.

Chang and his fellow surgeons opened a wound the same size as Lee’s calculus, Chang said.

“We call it ‘bikini cardiac surgery’ because the wound is so small that a female patient could wear a bikini after the surgery [without showing the wound],” Chang said.

Chang said using traditional techniques, there would have been a long wound, between 9cm and 12cm long, in the middle of the chest. With “bikini” surgery, the wound is only 6cm to 7cm long and the patient suffers less pain, no breathing problems and it lessens the chances of infection.

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