The Texas Children’s Heart Center recently announced that on September 21st, 2015, during the Pediatric and Adult Interventional Cardiac Symposium (PICS-AICS) held in Las Vegas, surgeons of the center carried out two live surgery cases. The aim of the conference is to create opportunities for physicians to connect, and specially to integrate congenital heart and adult structural heart diseases specialists. At the symposium, experienced surgeons present the newest approved and investigational medical technologies like devices, stents and valves. The particular live surgery cases were broadcasted from nine national and international venues: Texas Children’s, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, India, Las Vegas, Seattle, Columbus and San Diego.
Heart disease refers to a range of medical conditions which affect the heart, including blood vessel diseases like coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias), and heart defects at birth (congenital heart defects). Heart disease involves either narrowed/blocked blood vessels or affected heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm. Patients suffering from heart disease may experience symptoms like chest pain/discomfort that may spread into the shoulder, arm, back, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, and occasionally irregular heartbeat. Various factors have been pointed to the increased risk of developing heart disease, namely defects at birth, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise, obesity, high blood cholesterol, poor diet, and excessive alcohol consumption. It is worth noting that heart disease is considered the most common cause of death globally, with males being more affected than females.
There are a number of treatment options for heart disease like lifestyle changes and medical treatment through drugs such as cholesterol lowering medications, beta-blockers, and calcium antagonists. However, for cases where medications fail, surgery might be the best option. Texas Children’s Hospital is ranked #2 in the United States, with over 1,150 cardiac catheterization surgical procedures performed in 2014 and a success rate of more than 98% without complications. At this symposium, the team performed two live interventions on patients suffering from extremely complex cardiovascular problems. One case involved a patient suffering from Abernethy malformation with portopulmonary hypertension, and the second case featured a patient suffering from pulmonary vein narrowing (stenosis). The team prepared a strategic plan and the required means to successfully perform the surgeries on both patients.
“We are thrilled to showcase Texas Children’s specialized pediatric interventional cardiac care on an international level,” said in a news release the cardiologist Dr. Henri Justino, leader of the Texas Children’s The Charles E. Mullins Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and associate professor of pediatrics-cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine.
The Texas Children’s Hospital team expects that the demonstration will feature the depth and broadness of the mildly invasive transcatheter treatments that are provided daily to their patients. Furthermore, the symposium is overall seen as a good opportunity for visual learning, open dialogue, as well as bringing and sharing updates and experiences from relevant clinical trials and societies.