Unclogging your arteries with collagenase

On screen text: Sunnybrook logo. Title: Drano for Your Heart, Schulich Heart Centre. On screen text: Monday, November 28, 2010. Monica Matys : John Balkwill is no stranger to hospitals,he’s had multiple stents and even triple bypass surgery to try to ease his heart problems,but the pain always came bak. John: In the last two yearsI’ve had multiple blockages, minor heart attacks, which have led to just a deteriorating lifestyle. For me to walk one block I can’t do that no more without havingangina pains. On screen text: One hour later. . . Monica: But here at Sunnybrook, John is now partof a world first, a revolutionary new trial to try and open up his severely blocked arteries, much like you would a clogged drainin your home, by injecting a powerful agent called collagenase, letting it sit and then breaking throughthe blockage the next day to restore proper blood flow. Think of it as drano for the body. This remarkable procedure is the brainchild of Dr. Bradley Strauss, who says he and his team at Sunnybrook have had a nearly 85 percent success rate so far. Dr. Strauss: 15 of the 18 patients now have stents and have open arteries sowe’re very. . . that was beyond what our initialexpecations ever would be, so we’re thrilled about it. Monica: Each patient,including John, had already had an unsuccessful attempt to open theirblocked arteries with angioplasty. John’s arteries were so clogged nothing was getting through the concrete-like buildup. In the firstpart of the procedure, Dr. Strausse and his team inject the collagenase to the blocked areas through a catheter. Then, the next daythey attempt to break through the blockage and insert a stent to restoreblood flow. In most cases, including John’s, the collagenasemakes that possible. Dr. Strauss: Here, when we start, the circumflex is blocked right here, right where this branch comes off, no blood flow here. Now, this is that branch that’s here, now it’s–thisis what it looks like now. And we’ve stented the entirecircumflex into this branch here, and we also have full opening ofthese two other branches. So there’s three new branches, plus the main circumflex all from there. K? John: Oh wow. Monica: While it won’t work for every patient, Dr. Strauss says there are hundreds ofthousands every year who could benefit. Dr. Strauss: There are a lot of patientsthat currently, I think, go to bypass surgery that wouldn’t need to go if we could open the artery, and there are a lot of patients, unfortunately, that arestuck with lives that are limited, and those patients I think can be helped. For us, it’s very, very gratifying. Each time it’s sweet, each time. Monica: Dr. Strausshopes that within a year centres around the world will be working withthis drug. John was awake for the entire procedure and able tosee how successful it really was. John: Oh, that’s just remarkable. I couldn’t believe, I thought maybe we’d get a little piece opened up, but notthree main arteries again. This is unbelievable thatsomething like this can be done. Monica: John was out of options, but thanks to Dr. Strauss, he’s now out of pain, and less than a day after surgery, he’s heading home. John: I went through the whole night without pain for the first time. I haven’t been able to accomplish that in over a year, so that is something that’s going to be totally new, so that’s . . . new step everyday now. Monica: With SunnyView, I’m Monica Matys. On screen text: Visit my blog, sunnyview. sunnybrook. ca.

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