Text size:

Memorial Healthwatch Winter/Spring 2009

Leading-Edge Cardiac Surgery – Enhancing Quality of Life for Patients

Triple Bypass Surgery

Triple Bypass Surgery

After a heart attack, Jeffry had seven stents implanted to keep his coronary arteries open. But only a few months after moving to Florida, he continued suffering from angina and shortness of breath. He failed a treadmill test and was referred to Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute where Gary S. Allen, MD, FACS, Chief of Adult Cardiac Surgery, performed a triple bypass – finally freeing the 55-year-old of chest pain.

"I feel good now," Jeffry says.

Jeffry, a grandfather of five, was lucky, because bypass surgery eliminated his symptoms. Some patients with small arteries damaged by overstenting or diabetes need more than bypass surgery to obtain relief from disabling angina. For these patients, Dr. Allen offers laser transmyocardial revascularization (TMR).

"TMR does not necessarily prolong life, but it immediately and significantly improves symptoms in 60 percent of patients and eliminates it in 25 percent," Dr. Allen says.

TMR works by deadening the nerve causing the pain. It also causes new blood vessels to grow in the heart muscle. TMR can be performed on small vessels at the same time bypass surgery is performed on larger arteries, or done alone in a minimally invasive, one-hour procedure.