Treatment of Inoperable Heart Disease – TMR

TMR is a new and simple procedure that aids in getting blood and nutrients to the heart muscle, when other methods have not worked or are no longer an option.

When the symptoms of heart disease become so severe that conventional methods for treating it are no longer an option, there are other methods available to treat inoperable heart disease. The most common methods used include, but are not limited to, angioplasty, CABG, and drugs to facilitate blood flow to the heart. If any of these methods fail to relieve the patient of the pain associated with heart disease, then other avenues will need to be instituted.

A relatively new and simple procedure, called TMR, or Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization, is a procedure directed at increasing the blood flow to the heart, that angioplasty and surgery failed to accomplish. A special carbon dioxide (co2) laser is utilized to create small channels in the heart muscle, thereby increasing blood flow. It can be performed during bypass surgery or alone.

A small incision is made in the chest and the co2 laser is inserted. The surgeon decides how many “channels” he wants to create, usually 20-40 channels the width of the head of a pin. The site for these channels is usually the left ventricle. The outside perimeter of the channels close, while the inside of the channels remain open providing increased blood flow to the heart. the computerized laser beams create the channels in between heartbeats when the ventricle is filled with blood and the heart is not moving. In this manner, any potential electrical disturbances can be avoided. TMR usually takes one to two hours or longer if combined with other procedures.

Doctors are not certain how TMR works to improve improves blood flow, Clinical evidence suggests blood flow is improved greatly for those patients who had tun out of options specific for their disease.

The channels act as blood lines and may promote the growth of new capillaries to feed the heart muscle, which will decrease the pain of heart disease for the patient. Candidates for the TMR procedure include patients shown to have ischemic heart disease, history of previous heart surgery or angioplasty, or those told that nothing further can be done to improve their disease. However, TMR is not an option for those patients who have severe damage to their heart muscle due multiple heart attacks, and those whose heart muscle have no area of ischemia.

Barb Hicks is a featured health writer on Clivir.com – The Free Learning Community Site. She provides more information on Women Heart Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease and Valvular Heart Disease on Clivir.

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