Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Revolutionary New Procedure That Creates "Controlled" Heart Attack Performed For First Time In Southern California At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Date:
April 29, 1999
Source:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Summary:
Los Angeles pharmacist Armando Figueroa has become the first patient in Southern California to undergo a new procedure, called a septal ablation, which actually creates a "controlled" heart attack that destroys the excess heart muscle and helps relieve the obstruction to flow of blood from the heart.

LOS ANGELES (April 28, 1999) - Los Angeles pharmacist Armando Figueroa was running low on optimism and options when he learned about a revolutionary, non-surgical investigational cardiac procedure available at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Armando suffered from hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, also known as IHSS (Idiopathic Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis), an overgrowth of muscle on the inside center wall of the heart that restricts the flow of blood from the heart. His symptoms --shortness of breath and chest pain - had become debilitating and, potentially, life-threatening.

Related Articles


"I could hardly function," recalled Armando, 60, who became too weak to work. "Just to go out to dinner was extremely difficult -- walking from the front door to the garage was a major effort. My quality of life was really going downhill."

In March, Armando became the first patient in Southern California to undergo this new procedure, called a septal ablation, which actually creates a "controlled" heart attack that destroys the excess heart muscle and helps relieve the obstruction to flow of blood from the heart. Almost a month later, Armando looks back with no regrets and newfound enthusiasm about the future.

"I'm enjoying my life again," Armando stated emphatically. "I was practically bed-ridden for six months, and now I'm looking forward to going back to work in May."

An estimated one in 500 people suffers from hypertrophic obstructive cardiomoypathy. Hypertrophy, or "thickening," refers to the overgrowth of muscle that restricts the flow of blood from the left ventricle of the heart to the aorta, often resulting in increasingly severe shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations and dizziness.

"In the past, the only treatment options were medications and, if they became ineffective, open heart surgery to 'shave off' the obstruction," explained interventional cardiologist Raj Makkar, M.D., associate director of the Cardiovascular Intervention Center and co-director of the Interventional Cardiology Research Program in the Division of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai.

For many patients, the decision to undergo surgery is a difficult one, given the inherent risks and lengthy recovery time. But it was the only option until Dr. Ulrich Sigwart, a Swiss physician now practicing in London, developed a radical new approach to treating hypertrophic cardiomyopathy about four years ago. Within the controlled setting of a hospital laboratory, pure alcohol is injected into an artery that flows into the thickened area of the heart. The alcohol "kills" the excess muscle, relieving the obstruction and allowing blood to flow freely once again. In the U.S., this procedure has been pioneered by a Houston cardiologist, Dr. William Spencer, over the last three years.

"It's a 'wow' kind of procedure," stated Dr. Makkar, who performed Armando's procedure. "As a cardiologist, you're trained to prevent, abort and treat heart attacks; to actually create a heart attack to help the patient is an unconventional concept. But the results are truly phenomenal."

Armando wholeheartedly attests to that fact. "My wife noticed immediately after the procedure that the color had come back to my face," he remembered. And there were even more dramatic results. "When I came in to the hospital, I was very weak and really couldn't walk," said Armando, who spent just two nights recovering at Cedars-Sinai. "Almost immediately, I could move around. I really feel excellent now, though I have to work at regaining my stamina after being inactive for so long.

"Though a relatively "simple" procedure, there are risks, Dr. Makkar pointed out. The toxicity of the alcohol could potentially produce unwanted damage to the surrounding heart tissue, which is why the alcohol is carefully administered utilizing catheters and ultrasound to confirm accurate delivery. Potential candidates for the procedure are carefully screened and apprised of possible risks. "While we are excited about the immediate and intermediate outcomes, we still need to learn more about the long-term consequences of the procedure," Dr. Makkar cautioned.

"Compared to open heart surgery, the approach seemed very easy and simple, but I understood the risks," said Armando. "I did some research on the Internet, and I felt confident once I spoke with the physicians. They were very professional and up front with me and supplied all the information necessary to make my decision."

Armando was conscious throughout the procedure and remembers only four or five minutes of chest discomfort, which is controlled by medication. "It wasn't excruciating," he added. "The whole process was so easy and quick -- I was in and out of the lab in about an hour and a half. It's amazing to have something done to your heart, and be home in a couple of days!"

Cedars-Sinai is one of approximately two dozen sites in the U.S. performing the procedure under an institutionally approved clinical research protocol, and data is being collected in a national registry to help assess the efficacy of the approach. "This information will help us increase our knowledge and, hopefully, feel comfortable recommending this procedure routinely in the future," added Dr. Makkar.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Revolutionary New Procedure That Creates "Controlled" Heart Attack Performed For First Time In Southern California At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990429054618.htm>.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (1999, April 29). Revolutionary New Procedure That Creates "Controlled" Heart Attack Performed For First Time In Southern California At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990429054618.htm
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Revolutionary New Procedure That Creates "Controlled" Heart Attack Performed For First Time In Southern California At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990429054618.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins