Parachute device helping heart attack patients

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A heart attack can change your life in an instant. Those who recover often still suffer from many health problems like shortness of breath and heart failure symptoms.

But now an experimental trial being done at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital could be a break-through for certain heart attack patients who suffer damage to the tip of their hearts.

Dr. Philip Adamson from the Heart Hospital is leading the local trials.

"We found that when people have a very specific part of the heart that doesn't work we are able to put in the new device that opens up like an umbrella and is implanted permanently in the heart which reforms the shape of the heart and the tip of the heart," Dr. Adamson says.

The Parachute Ventricular Partitioning Device is put into the damaged area of the heart. Adamson said it restores the hearts geometry and function.

"It essentially ties together the remaining strong part of the heart to make if more efficient and decrease the symptoms of the disease," Dr. Adamson explains.

In the past, surgeons would have to perform major surgery to repair the heart. The parachute procedure is implanted from the groin through a catheter and is minimally invasive.

Trial surgeons like Adamson believe that in many cases surgery will be a thing of the past for many heart attack patients.

"What we found in the past is that the trauma of the surgery itself is hard to get over and it was hard to prove that that actually helped people get better over time."

If you're interested in applying for the study, you can contact the Oklahoma Heart Hospital.