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Hospiten, pioneer in heart surgery technique to reduce obstruction in venous grafts

Posted on 06-09-2019

The Hospiten Rambla Cardiac Surgery Service has, for the first time in the Canary Islands, implanted two VEST prostheses in a patient who had previously undergone coronary bypass surgery. “This very new procedure consisting of using metal mesh to envelop venous grafts during surgery improves results by preventing future obstructions and, therefore, reduces recurrent angina, which might require further procedures”, explains Dr. Rafael Llorens, leading surgeon in the new technique.

According to the head of the Hospiten Cardiac Surgery Service, this type of prosthesis reduces surface tension at the graft and impedes deformation and hyperplasia (abnormal growth or swelling of an organ or tissue), in addition to stabilizing the diameter of the graft and reducing turbulent blood flow.

The VEST prosthesis, registered in Europe and distributed by Merce Electromedicina, is still quite rare in the islands, with Hospiten pioneering the use of the prosthesis with excellent results in a patient who has already started cardiovascular rehabilitation.

In this case, “the procedure consisted of off-pump revascularization using the left mammary artery and two veins enveloped in the new metal mesh. The technique also greatly reduces the risks and cost of surgery by eliminating the need for further, future surgery, because when venous grafts are used in coronary bypass surgery, blockages usually form in the grafts in 60% of cases at 10 years. And the new technology prevents that deterioration”, explains the doctor.

Dr. Rafael LLorens is one of the top specialists in heart surgery in the use of mammary and radial artery grafts, off-pump surgery, coronary revascularization with epidural anesthesia and the patient awake, mitral and aortic valve reparation, key-hole surgery, or endovascular reparation of the thoracic and abdominal aorta, among others. He is a member of the leading Spanish and international scientific societies and of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Tenerife.

Likewise, the Hospiten Rambla Cardiovascular Surgery Unit, founded in 1996, has carried out around 8,000 heart surgeries, and has pioneered the application of new techniques improving the quality of life of patients – the unit plays an important role in the healthcare available to cardiovascular patients in the Canary Islands.