Chinese doctors perform groundbreaking heart surgery

BEIJING. KAZINFORM - Chinese doctors have, for the first time, successfully performed minimally invasive surgery on live hearts, saving two patients suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, China Daily reports.

Using ultrasound guidance and without conducting a thoracotomy, doctors in Xijing Hospital of the Fourth Military Medical University based in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, operated on the apical ventricular septum of two patients, using radio-frequency catheter ablation to successfully treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the hospital announced on Wednesday.

The operations were believed to be the first such ones carried out in the world to date, according to internet research conducted by the Science and Technology Novelty Search workstation under the Ministry of Education, said Liu Liwen, a doctor and director of the hospital's department of medical ultrasonics.

The first operation was carried out on June 22 to save a 70-year-old female local resident, surnamed Wang, who had suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy for eight years, Liu said.

"The patient came to our hospital early this year when she could not walk and faced possible sudden death at any time," said Liu, who was the lead surgeon for the operations which involved the hospital's departments of medical ultrasonics, cardiology and anesthesia.

"We used a radio-frequency needle with a 1.6 mm diameter to perform 12 minutes of thermal ablation on the hypertrophic site of the interventricular septa," Liu said.

The operation was a success, with Wang able to walk the following day.

The same doctors treated another patient, a 25-year-old man who suffered from a more complicated and dangerous heart disease, on Sept 6, and he has made a full recovery.

According to Liu, the doctors, who have more than 10 years experience of operating with ultrasound guidance, had been working for three years on researching such treatment, including nearly 100 experiments on animals.

Source: China Daily

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