Thursday, March 23, 2006

In the Presence of Greatness

Dr. Jeng Wei is the director of the Heart Center at Cheng Hsin General Hospital in Taipei. He has performed history-making cardiac surgeries and is considered by his peers in the international CV surgery community to be one of the best, if not the best, cardiovascular surgeon in the world. I had the honor of observing Dr. Wei at work in the OR, and he demonstrated a technique for aortic valve replacement in Asians that he pioneered.

He explains:

"Asians are physically smaller, and so their heart structure is also smaller. When an Asian patient requires a valve replacement, a problem exists where the bore of the patient's aortic valve does not accomodate the sizes of artificial replacement valves available from the United States. So I have to find a way to install the new valve so that the smaller heart can accomodate it. So I devised a technique by which I suture the new valve into the aortic valve space half from the inside, and half from the outside. This way, I can hold the new valve snugly in place while at the same time compensating for the odd size."

More later. Posted by Picasa