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January 30, 2014 - Image 54

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2014-01-30

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health & wellness

Pioneering Cardiac
Repair Save Lives

A less-invasive procedure to replace
heart valves developed at Henry Ford.

Sally Ann Brown
I Special to the Jewish News


It may be beautiful on the
outside but it's what's on
inside that counts


Call us today at (248) 683-1010.

4460 Orchard Lake Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48323

octors at Henry Ford
Hospital in Detroit have cre-
ated a new route to the heart
to implant an artificial heart valve
by temporarily connecting major
blood vessels that do not normally
In an operation on 79-year-old
Dr. Adam Greenbaum and Dr. William
Viola Waller of Charlevoix, physi-
with a diagram of the heart
cians performed a world-first cardiac
procedure when it became evident
that other means would not work
"I knew of an experimental technique
that had not yet been done in humans,
The preferred access for transcath-
and I had a patient with no other
eter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
options who was failing rapidly:' says
is through the leg arteries. However,
Adam Greenbaum, M.D., director of the
Waller's arteries were too small in diam-
Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Henry
eter for the catheter because of prior
Ford Hospital, and leader of the team
plaque buildup and stents.
who pioneered the procedure.
The Henry Ford team made an
The new approach, called "transcaval,"
attempt to reach her heart through a
involves threading a guide wire through
minimally invasive chest incision, but
a vein in a leg, and passing it from the
fatty deposits near the patient's heart
main vein in the body into the main
could not support the necessary struc-
artery, the abdominal aorta. Then the
ture for a catheter.
openings of the vein and artery are wid-
"Because all traditional options were
ened to the point of allowing a catheter
not feasible, our multi-specialty team felt
to connect them, continue to the heart
the new technique could be the answer
and implant the new artificial heart
for this patient," Greenbaum says. "She
could not have open-heart surgery, and
As the catheter is removed, a plug is
her condition was deteriorating daily."
inserted between the artery and the vein
Waller is making a remarkable recov-
to close the holes made for the tempo-
ery and has returned to her home.
rary connection of the two major blood
"The reason I chose to go into cardiol-
ogy was the wide spectrum of diseases
Approximately 5 million people in
and treatment options:' Greenbaum says.
the U.S. are diagnosed with heart valve
"It is very gratifying when you are able
to transform lives through minimally
disease each year. With an aging popula-
invasive approaches. Now we can offer
tion that is often too frail for open-heart
procedures to solve complex heart prob-
surgery, more than 20,000 Americans
die of the disease each year, according to
lems that in the past were only possible
the American Heart Association.
with open-heart surgery. It's been a won-
Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has the derful experience to have been a part of
only team in the world performing this
that process7
Greenbaum lives in Farmington Hills
unique technique. To date, the team has
performed nearly 20 of these complex
with his wife, Susan, and their four chil-
cardiac procedures.
dren. They are members of Congregation
Greenbaum estimates this new proce-
B'nai Moshe in West Bloomfield. Susan
dure could help 25,000-50,000 patients a
Greenbaum and their daughters are
year in the U.S.
lifetime members of Hadassah, and their
older two children, a daughter and son,
Post - Surgery Success
participate in BBYO. Their younger son
Waller was transferred from northern
and daughter, twins, are currently study-
Michigan to Detroit by medical heli-
ing for their b'nai mitzvah.
copter in critical condition. Her aortic
Sally Ann Brown is in public relations for the
valve, a previous implant done through
Henry Ford Health System.
open-heart surgery many years ago, was

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54 January 30 • 2014


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