• Question: Do you make inventions to help the doctors perform a difficult surgery on people with cardiac problems.

    Asked by ceola11 to Tommy on 30 Apr 2020.
    • Photo: Tommy Hayden

      Tommy Hayden answered on 30 Apr 2020:

      Hi Ceola

      Yes, that’s a big part of what we do. Twenty years ago, if somebody had a blockage in the blood vessels in their heart, they needed open heart surgery to fix the problem.

      Treatment of most of these issues has now become routine and treatment is complete in about 30 mins. Patients are typically back to work within a couple of days (as opposed to about six months recovery after open heart surgery). The treatment method most commonly used falls under the category of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI for short). The technique the doctors use is referred to as the Seldinger technique (it’s worth a google!)

      A lot of the stuff we work on in new product development is referred to as Complex PCI. This is focused on developing devices to treat patients that are hard to treat with existing devices. There’s a continuous evolution to make our devices easier to get into challenging locations within the heart.

      We have a pacemaker (product name is Micra) that can be inserted into the heart via transfemoral access (i.e. through the leg). We can also replace heart valves by the same access point. The valve leaflets are made using tissue from pig hearts (product name is Enveo)

      Thanks for the question