Canadian surgeon fixes patients with glue

Technique helps repair breastbones after open-heart surgery


A cardiac surgeon at the University of Calgary has developed a new surgical technique that speeds up recovery time, using glue to repair breastbones intentionally broken during open-heart surgery. According to Dr. Paul Fedak of Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre, the procedure is “substantially less painful” for patients, who typically require weeks to heal and strong medication to deal with the pain. “We can now heal the breastbone in hours instead of weeks after open-heart surgery,” Fedak, who created the procedure, said in a statement. In a study of over 20 Calgary patients, people whose chests were glued back together could resume full physical activites within days, instead of the months it usually takes with wire stitches. Pain and discomfort were much reduced, and the use of pain-killers was reduced or eliminated. Fedak is now training Canadian and European surgeons on the procedure. The adhesive used is called “Kryptonite,” and is made by Connecticut-based Doctors Research Group Inc.


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Canadian surgeon fixes patients with glue

  1. I was listening to some of the coverage of this story and learned that there are 1.4M sternotomies (surgeries where the breast bone is opened up) across the globe each year. My understanding from hearing details of the patient impact that the procedure could easily shave days off each patient's hospital stay. Conservatively, let's say only one less day per patient and $1,000 per patient-hospital-day. Even at those underestimates, the procedure could shave $1.4B bottom line from the cost of health care around the globe. In reality it could be a lot more, including with fewer prescriptions. Amazing! Good on the Libin Cardiovascular Institute at the University of Calgary (http://www.LibinInstitute.org) – need more doctors, nurses and scientists working together to create real-world solutions. Good stuff Drs Fedak and King!!!

  2. Excellent work Drs. Fedak and King! This sounds like a wonderful solution for both the patient and our healthcare system!

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