Posted: Feb 20, 2013 5:47 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Feb 20, 2013 11:14 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Tonight, we take you in for an up-close look at an amazing piece of technology that is making a huge difference to the way doctors approach heart surgery in the Coastal Bend.
I'm back inside the Driscoll Children's Hospital, Cath Lab. The boy on the table, is 12 year old Jacob Ontiveros. Since the day he was born, Jacob has dealt with several medical issues, including a heart defect and swelling of his liver.
"Yeah, happy kid. I mean, he goes to school, enjoys life. I mean, you get to know him, it's real hard to forget the kid," Jacob's father, Joe, said.
This is Jacob's 4th major heart procedure and his dad says the past surgeries have left his boy scarred physically.
"Yeah, he has scars. As a matter of fact he has one from here, that goes down. So, yeah, he has scars," said Ontiveros.
But thanks to an amazing piece of technology, today's procedure will leave nothing but a small dot on Jacob's neck. It's called the Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve, or Melody Valve for short.
"It's a valve that comes from a cow. From the Jugular vein of a cow. As you know, they graze, so they put their heads down. Also this valve helps the blood not go into their heads," said Juan Olana, a Clinical Specialist.
This $30,000 valve is then inserted into a small tube, that, in Jacob's case, goes through the neck and into his heart.
"Imagine yourself getting wires through a wall in your house. So, you need to put a wire and you need to put a hole in the very bottom part and top part, and not destroy the whole entire wall. This is the same way," Olana said.
Once the valve is in place, the surgeon inflates the balloon and then deflates it before he pulls the wire back out, thus repairing the defect, for now.
"It's a platform that has changed, dramatically, the way we look at things. Because instead of having to do this, in an absolutely invasive manner, we're going less and less invasive. But with the same safeguards that we've had up until now," said Olana.
Putting less stress on Jacob's father as he hopes for good news in the waiting room.
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