SIOUX CITY (KTIV) — Open heart surgery can be a scary and daunting thought.
And for a long time blockages in the heart have been treated two ways: with a coronary artery bypass or with stents.
With a coronary artery bypass graph, cardiac surgeons cut through a patient’s breast bone, also known as the sternum.
Surgeons cut veins from the leg to use them to bypass the blockages in the heart.
By cutting through the bone and the leg, the risk for bleeding and infection increase, and the recovery time is prolonged.
The other option is to clear the blockage with stents.
Stents are little wire mesh pipes that prop for coronaries open.
It’s a procedure typically done by using a catheter that’s placed in your upper leg area.
However, two big city surgeons have joined forces at MercyOne Siouxland in Sioux City to create a procedure that requires less cutting, less time, but still the same result.
“You need to have something local that’s solid, that provides the best care possible,” said Dr. Stilianos Efstratiadis, MercyOne Siouxland Medical Director of Cardiology.
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They’ve done just that by bringing together interventional cardiology and minimally invasive cardiac surgery to create the “hybrid bypass procedure.”
“I make a little space, maybe an inch and a half, from the right side of your chest in between the ribs and through this tiny incision you can carry out multiple bypasses through the heart,” said Dr. Giovanni Ciuffo, MercyOne Siouxland Medical Director of Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery.
Once the bypass is complete, that’s when Dr. Efstratiadis steps in to reopen the heart vessels.
“The rest of the arteries can be taken care of by the interventional cardiologist, like myself, and I can do the stent on the rest of the arteries,” said Dr. Efstratiadis.
They say the hybrid procedure is the best of both worlds.
“You get the IMA to LAD which is guaranteed for life. It’s the best bypass you can use,” said Dr. E, “You get it through a minimal approach in between the ribs so they don’t cut through your sternum so recovery time much better, infection rate very low, bleeding risk very low. But then you get the bypass which lasts the longest and then you get the stents for the rest of your arteries.”
“You can have a patient that gets his bypasses, his stents and all he has to show for it is an inch and a half insition on the left side of the chest,” said Dr. Ciuffo.
In just three months, the duo has done about five “hybrid bypass procedures.”
They say they’ve gotten great responses from patients.
If you’d like to learn more about this procedure, you can look at Dr. Ciuffo’s website.