Five patients have had special pins fitted to close holes (fistula) that had opened up near the implanted heart valves. Image navigation systems merge ultrasound and X-ray images of the heart in real time.
“When performing heart manipulation with catheters or special surgical instruments, doctors focus only looking at the images of the heart. X-ray images show the instruments and an ultrasound image shows the structures of the heart that require treatment. So the combination of these images allows a better understanding of the relation between the instrument and anatomical structures, and to quickly find the unhealthy place in the heart and take the exact steps required,” said cardiac arrhythmias and radiosurgery department senior resident interventional cardiologist, Valdas Bilkis.
Bilkis said the technique is used to both improve the surgery and to reduce the x-ray exposure time for both the patient and the doctor.
A well-known interventional cardiology specialist Dr. Eustachio Onorato working in Bergamo, Italy, came to assist in the surgery along with Latvian P.Stradiņa University Hospital interventional cardiologist Ainars Rudzitis also came to observe, given it was the first time the surgery had been performed in the Baltics.