Omaha Heart Surgeon Develops Novel Technique
James Hammel, M.D., shares expertise with surgeons from U.S., Europe
OMAHA, Neb., Sept. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Congenital heart surgeon James Hammel, M.D., on Thursday presented a video demonstration of a novel infant cardiac surgical technique at the joint meeting of the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society and the European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association in Chicago. The technique allows many complex heart defect repairs, including the Norwood operation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome, to be performed more quickly and safely.
The presentation showed portions of a Norwood operation performed at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha. The technique, developed by the Children’s cardiac surgical team over the last four years, involves providing continuous warm blood flow to the entire body during reconstruction of the aortic arch. The conventional approach requires cooling the infant to a very low body temperature and then stopping the blood flow to part or all of the body for as much as an hour.
“Improving outcomes in infant operations is a special emphasis of our congenital heart program at Children’s Omaha. The continuous warm bypass technique is a good example. It has become our standard approach for all complex aortic operations including the Norwood. These babies recover much more quickly,” said Dr. Hammel.
Benefits of the procedure include a shorter time connected to the heart-lung machine and under anesthesia, less swelling, and less impact on organs such as the kidneys – data which Dr. Hammel will present at the annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons in January 2013. Together with reduced blood transfusion and other refinements, the technique allows many infants to be awake and breathing on their own immediately after surgery.
Dr. Hammel was one of the first pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons to become board-certified in congenital heart surgery. He is Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, both in Omaha.
Children’s Omaha surgeons Kim Duncan, M.D., board-certified in congenital heart surgery, and Ibrahim Abdullah, M.D., board eligible, were co-presenters with Dr. Hammel.
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center (www.ChildrensOmaha.org) is recognized as a 2012-13 Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report in cardiology and heart surgery, and cancer. Located in Omaha, it is the only full-service, pediatric health care center in Nebraska providing pediatric specialty services across a five-state region and beyond.
SOURCE Children’s Hospital & Medical Center