Pig Intestines Used In Groundbreaking Heart Surgery
Patch Allows Body To Regenerate Cells Naturally
Last Updated: 1412 days ago
A first-of-its kind surgery performed by an Indianapolis doctor could change the way some common heart repairs are made.Dr. Marc Gerdisch with St. Francis Heart Center is the first in the world to use a patch made out of pig intestine to fix damaged structures inside a human heart, 6News' Stacia Matthews reported.The strong yet pliable material, called Extracellur Matrix, allows the body to regenerate cells to repair damaged tissue, without the issues associated with anti-rejection drugs and scar tissue."It provides the most natural way to reconstruct that tissue, and gives us a little bit more freedom with regard to aggressive reconstruction," Gerdisch said.Sherry Tucker, who was born with a defect in her aortic valve, became a candidate for the innovative surgery after an artificial replacement valve didn't correct her problem."I didn't know how groundbreaking this was until after the surgery," she said. "I'm looking for a snout and to start oinking at anytime, but, so far, that hasn't happened."Since her surgery in March, Tucker is now back to biking every day, unhampered by the shortness of breath that plagued her exercise routine before."I'm not saying I'm 100 percent yet, but I'm 80 or 90 (percent)," she said.Gerdisch began using the material last year. Since then, 30 patients have received the pig intestine patch.The technology also eliminates the need for repeat surgery to replace artificial valves.