October 28, 2010

A Superglue Used After Heart Surgery Offers Super Results

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Superman's one weakness has always been Kryptonite.  But what can bring an otherwise invulnerable superhero to his knees has been improving the quality of life for heart patients recovering from open-chest surgery.  Well, it isn't a glowing green element like the one in the comics, but instead a cutting-edge superglue that just happens to share the same name.  Grab your cape and hold on as we fly into the future of medical science.

Kryptonite superglue is being used to enhance the closure of the breastbone after surgery.  "It has properties like natural bone and allows for new bone growth," which Dr. Paul Fedak, a cardiac surgeon at Foothills Hospital Medical Centre, was quoted as saying.  The innovative adhesive bonds so quickly and effectively to the breastbone that pain is cut down significantly.  The breastbone becomes solid within hours, shortening the current recovery time of eight weeks by 50 percent.  Up till now, the breastbone has been closed merely with steel wire that stays in the chest.

"One of the most common complaints among patients is sternal pain following heart surgery," Fedak adds.  "With this alternative procedure, significant healing occurs in hours rather than in weeks."  By accelerating and improving bone stability, the adhesive allows patients to breathe deeply and painlessly without powerful painkillers, meaning fewer side effects.  Enhanced bone stability results in fewer complications such as wound infections and bone separation with no associated side effects or complications after one year of follow-up.

This much-anticipated release of the official study results prove that the Kryptonite adhesive is capable of enhancing the stability of the breastbone closure resulting in early benefits on post-operative recovery.  Researchers found that benefits of the Kryptonite adhesive include:

"¢ Increased mechanical strength of the breastbone closure. 
"¢ Patients showing significantly pain, and reduced need for painkillers.
"¢ Accelerated post-operative recovery time by weeks.
"¢ Patients have improved physical function and improved health-related quality of life.

Kryptonite superglue has now been used on over 500 patients in hospitals across Canada and the United States.  Based on the promising findings from the Calgary studies, a larger clinical trial has been established that will include 15 Canadian hospitals and three from the United States.

"It is estimated that 29,000 surgeries requiring sternotomy are performed annually in Canada. World-wide, 1.4 million are performed each year," which Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson was quoted as saying.  "This procedure will potentially revolutionize surgical recovery around the world.  It increases function, considerably improves quality of life, and ultimately saves the medical system money."

SOURCE: Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.