Entries in Heart Surgery (6)


Video Game Lets Players Be Heart Surgeons for a Day

Bossa(SAN FRANCISCO) -- If you ever wanted to be a surgeon but were put off by the annoying requirement of medical school, a new video game lets you try your hand at heart surgery.  No degree is required.

Developed by Bossa Studios Ltd., Surgeon Simulator 2013 lets players perform a heart transplant — normally a delicate and meticulous operation.  In the game, though, players are not very likely to worry about their patient, named “Bob,” as much as they are to use a big saw to get his pesky heart out of his chest.  (While the operation is a game, there is quite a bit of pixelated blood that might bother the squeamish.)

“We had a lot of fun just playing with the hand and making gestures,” said Tom Jackson, one of the game’s developers, in an email to ABC News. “We were pretty sure we had something fun. Although the online response in the last week has been completely overwhelming!”

The game was created as part of the San Francisco Global Game Jam, where teams had 48 hours to create and develop a game inspired by human heartbeats. The Bossa programmers got positive reviews.  They are now talking about a full version of Surgeon Simulator next year, in which let players will be able to do brain surgery and dentistry.  The developers are asking players to send back comments and reviews of the game.

“Golden rule is if it makes us giggle, we’ll put it in the game. And it’s worked out so far,” said game designer Luke Williams in a commentary.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Soldier Returns Just in Time for Unborn Son's Heart Surgery

Courtesy Jonathan Keeney(NEW YORK) -- Four months before he was born, Jaxon Lucas Keeney was diagnosed with a heart defect -- his aortic artery and pulmonary artery were backwards, so that his blood circulated in the wrong direction.

His parents, Jon and Megan Keeney, both 26, knew the baby would be whisked straight from birth into the operating room for lifesaving surgery and were confident in Jaxon's doctor.

The hard part was getting the baby's father home to West Virginia in time for the delivery.  Jon Keeney was on active duty in the U.S. Army's 305th Military Police Unit nearly 7,000 miles away in Afghanistan.

In 2007, Jon Keeney joined the Reserves at age 20. He did one tour of Iraq in 2010, then volunteered for Afghanistan. The couple found out Megan was pregnant two days before he went overseas.

Jon Keeney had one delay after another, then got stuck in Germany for four days when his charter flight home was cancelled.  But his father, a Baptist pastor, tapped some of his connections, and U.S. senators.  Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., and U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va , stepped in to help.

Jon Keeney arrived home on June 5, just two days before the baby's birth.

Just last week, Jaxon returned from West Virginia University Children's Hospital in Morgantown and the Keeneys are living together as a family for the first time.

Jaxon's condition -- transposition of the great arteries -- is the second most common cyanotic heart defect, causing blue-tinged skin and breathing problems, according to the National Institutes of Health.

In a normal heart, the blood that returns from the body goes through the right side of the heart and the pulmonary artery to the lungs to get oxygen.  It then returns through the left side and travels out the aorta to the body.

"In transposition, the pulmonary artery comes out of the left [of the heart] and the aorta comes out of the right," according to Dr. Larry Rhodes, chief of pediatric cardiology at WVU Children's, where Jaxon was treated.

"The blood doesn't go where it is supposed to," said Rhodes.  "The blood goes to the body and is not taking oxygen."

In the United States, the congenital heart defect occurs in about 1,900 babies a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Doctors can diagnose the condition with a fetal ultrasound at 22 weeks' gestation.  They think the cause may be genetic.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


The First Total Artificial Heart Implant in New England Performed at Brigham

File photo. Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Last February the Brigham and Women’s Hospital performed the first total artificial heart implant in New England for James Carelli, a 66-year-old retired high school teacher with a cardiac senile amyloidosis, which can cause heart failure, according to The Boston Globe. The procedure had not been revealed until Thursday.

This surgery is intended as a bridge until a human heart transplant can be found.  Carelli’s condition has improved since the surgery, and Carelli said, “It’s not a difficult choice when you want to live, and I wanted to live.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mini Darth Vader Has Successful Heart Surgery

Earl Gibson III/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Max Page, the child actor who played Darth Vader in the enormously popular Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial in 2011, is recovering today after having undergone successful open heart surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

The 7-year-old, who now appears on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, was born with a congenital heart defect and Thursday's surgery replaced his pulmonary valve and repaired a hole in his heart.

The operation took two hours and the valve used is expected to last about 15 years before it will need to be replaced with noninvasive surgery, according to the hospital.

Page is not just a patient, but also a Junior Ambassador for the hospital he has been coming to for treatment since he was an infant.

"If you use your force and dream big, you can achieve anything. We may be small but we are mighty," Page tells other kids facing scary situations.

In preparation for the surgery, Page with the help of his mom, Jennifer, put together a "Can Do" list to focus on all the things he is capable of accomplishing and can control. One of the items on the list was "fun up" the house, which resulted in every room of the Pages' home having a different name and theme.

"Everything that was boring is now in our small garage and everything that is fun is out and accessible," Jennifer Page told NBC News. "We're so lucky that we have an articulate son that's able to tell us how to help him."

Page is expected to be in the hospital for five days and faces six to eight weeks of recovery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Doctor Live-Tweeting Coronary Bypass Surgery

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- Doctors tweeting throughout surgery and providing pictures and video is not new, but tweeting during open-heart surgery? That’s happening for the first time Tuesday.

Surgeons at Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital in Houston are live tweeting a coronary bypass, complete with almost instantaneous YouTube videos and pictures of a beating heart.

Some of the pictures and video are already rolling into the hospital’s Twitter feed, @houstonhospital, but before clicking over, remember that the content is graphic, and includes images of the heart itself.

Dr. Michael Macis is conducting the two-hour bypass, wearing a helmet cam that snaps the photos and video, and sends them to a computer. Another camera in the operating room is also capturing images.

The patient’s name has not been released, but according to the Houston Chronicle, he is a 57-year-old male.

The surgery coincides with Heart Month. Memorial Hermann has arranged for a doctor on its staff to answer questions from the public through CoverItLive, which is embedded here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Elephant Calf Dies Just Short of Groundbreaking Surgery

At just 25 days old, baby elephant called Lola plays in her enclosure at Munich Zoo Hellabrunn on Nov. 22, 2011 in Munich, Germany. Nadine Rupp/Getty Images(MUNICH) -- A baby elephant at a German zoo who suffered from heart problems has passed away.  Lola would’ve been the world’s first elephant to have heart surgery to remove a blood clot, but died during preparations for the operation.  At just three months, during a CTA scan, the calf suffered from a pulmonary embolism and could not be revived.

Zoo director and veterinarian Dr. Andreas Knieriem commented on Lola’s tragic death to the UK’s Daily Mail: "Considering the pathology, it has to be said it’s a miracle that she lived as long as she did. Her arteries were so blocked that blood couldn’t flow through her lungs anymore.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio