Avoiding the pain of open-heart surgery

New procedures will reduce need for open-heart surgery in certain patients with congenital heart disease

Montreal, February 12, 2007
– Once again, the Montreal Children’s Hospital is at the forefront of innovation in patient care. Thanks to a procedure performed for the first time last week at The Montreal Children’s Hospital, four patients were spared from open-heart surgery and the painful recovery which follows.

The procedure, which was developed in England by Dr. Philippe Bonhoeffer, has already been done in Quebec, Toronto and Edmonton and now, the Montreal Children’s Hospital is also offering it to patients. The intervention consists of inserting a pulmonary valve with the help of a catheter instead of performing an open-heart surgery.

According to MCH cardiologist Dr. Adrian Dancea, the procedure will considerably reduce the number of patients who have to undergo surgery or, at the very least, reduce the number of surgeries required.

Last week, with the help of Toronto cardiologist Dr. Lee Benson, who has already implanted 20 such valves percutaneously, a dozen professionals from the the McGill Centre of Excellence in Congenital Heart Disease of the MUHC performed the operation for the first time in Montreal. The pediatric cardiology team of the Montreal Children’s Hospital is an important part of the Centre of Excellence that provides care to patients with congenital heart malformations from birth to old age.

Four of those patients, two adults and two teens, benefited from this extraordinary new procedure. Three patients were discharged early after their procedure, and one stayed only three days
instead of undergoing open-heart surgery followed by at least one week’s stay at the hospital and a long convalescence at home.

The Montreal Children’s Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital of the McGill University Health Centre. This institution is a leader in the care and treatment of sick infants, children, and adolescents from across Quebec. The Montreal Children’s Hospital provides a high level and broad scope of health care services, and provides ultra specialized care in many fields including: cardiology and cardiac surgery; neurology and neurosurgery, traumatology; genetic research; psychiatry and child development and musculoskeletal conditions, including orthopedics and rheumatology. Fully bilingual and multicultural, the institution respectfully serves an increasingly diverse community in more than 50 languages.

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is a comprehensive academic health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical programs, research and teaching. The MUHC is a merger of five teaching hospitals affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University--the Montreal Children's, Montreal General, Royal Victoria, and Montreal Neurological Hospitals, as well as the Montreal Chest Institute. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of the founding hospitals, the goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the health care field, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge. www.muhc.ca

For more information contact:
Denisse Campos
Public Relations and Communications
Phone: 514-412-4400 ext: 22742