Teenager has pioneering heart surgery through his leg
enager with heart problems has become one of the first patients in Britain to have heart surgery through his thigh. Jack Burd, 17, was born with a heart defect and had already endured open heart surgery three times.
This time surgeons used a high-tech procedure to thread a new heart valve into his leg and through an artery to his heart. The operation was pioneered by top doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. It has been performed only at a handful of specialist centres in the UK.
Specialists believe it offers significant advantages for patients and could one day overtake open heart surgery, which was first carried out in the 1950s.
Jack, from Barnsley, had his first heart operation aged five months at the former Killingbeck Hospital in Leeds and open heart surgery followed when he was three, seven and 14. He has also had two pacemakers fitted.
Doctors monitoring him at Leeds General Infirmary told him his heart valve was becoming worn out and he needed a new one to regulate the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs.
Jack's mother Victoria said previous operations had taken all day and meant a week in hospital, with weeks more to recover. But after receiving the new keyhole technique he had returned home the following day.
John Thomson, consultant in congenital cardiology at the Infirmary, who carried out the procedure, said the valve was threaded from Jack's thigh through an artery to his heart.
Using a monitor, he was able to manoeuvre it into position in an operation lasting two-and-a-half hours, which he described as "pretty tricky".
Without surgery, heart patients become progressively more tired and lacking in energy as their organ fails to function properly.
- Daily Mail