DALLAS, Texas. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Alcohol ablation was first introduced about 20 years ago, but doctors have now refined it as a minimally-invasive procedure to fix a damaged heart. For one man, it was a matter of life and death.
After one year of recovery from a controlled heart attack, 67-year-old Bobby Bridges can do just about everything again … yard work, work as a police chaplain in Arlington, Texas, and preach at Mayfield Road Baptist Church.
Bridges told Ivanhoe, “My heart stopped. Evidently I rolled at about five miles an hour through two intersections, and then hit the curb and the jolt of hitting the curb brought me back to life, literally.”
Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, a genetic disorder, was causing a thickness in the heart wall that was obstructing blood flow. The cardiologist performed an alcohol ablation, causing a controlled heart attack to kill part of the heart and reduce the obstruction.
“Oh yeah, when they induced that heart attack, heart attack hurts, I can tell you,” Bridges detailed.
Immediately, with the obstruction gone, the blood flowed normally, and Bridges returned to normal life, even preaching again. His recovery was faster than if he chose a surgical route.
Stuart Lander, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas, Texas, said, “In appropriate patients, that are appropriately screened, it can be life changing as it was for Bobby.” (Read Full Interview)
Bridges said, “I’m completely a new person. If there is any way to describe how I am today, I’m 30 years younger.”
He now has a whole new lease on life.
Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy is a genetic disorder that often goes undetected until the patient has a massive heart attack, so Bridges was indeed a lucky man.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Don Wall, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Mark Montgomery, Videographer.
MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGHS – RESEARCH SUMMARY
TOPIC: Doc Gives Bobby a Heart Attack and Saves His Life!
REPORT: MB #4197
BACKGROUND: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is very common and can affect people of any age, men and women equally. It is a common cause of cardiac arrest in young people, including athletes. It occurs if heart muscle cells enlarge which cause the walls of the ventricles to thicken. The size of the ventricle stays the same, but the thickening can block blood flow out. If this happens the condition is called obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Sometimes the wall that divides the heart can thicken and bulge into one side. This can block blood flow as well, and the ventricle must work harder to pump blood. Symptoms can include chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, or fainting. This can also raise blood pressure in the ventricles and blood vessels of the lungs.
TREATMENTS: The goal of treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is to relieve symptoms and prevent sudden cardiac death. One option for treatment is medications that can relax heart muscles to slow the heart rate so it can pump more efficiently. Beta blockers or calcium channel blockers, and other medications control your heart rhythm. Another option is septal myectomy which is an open-heart procedure where the surgeon removes part of the thickened skin to improve blood flow. This may be recommended to you by your doctor if medication doesn’t yield results.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: Alcohol Septal Ablation (ASA) is a minimally invasive surgery for treatment of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, compared to surgical myomectomy. It is a catheter-based procedure, where doctors inject absolute alcohol into the heart to cause a controlled heart attack, which then eliminates the obstruction. The procedure has been refined throughout the years, especially in localizing the area at risk and reducing the amount of alcohol used. The overall prognosis is favorable with an annual mortality of one percent, but it’s important the patient is suited for the procedure and meets the qualifications.
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