The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is usually known for opening clogged and blocked arteries with balloons and stents. However, this spring, interventional cardiologist Sahil Banka, MD, and the cath lab team did something new and exciting at Pennsylvania Hospital – they closed a large hole in the heart of a patient without surgery.
Such holes in the heart are congenital heart defects that fail to close completely. They are referred to as atrial septal defects (ASDs) and patent foramen ovales (PFOs) and can go undetected into adulthood. Many individuals who are affected can live normal lives and never experience any symptoms. However, once a patient does experience symptoms, treatment is recommended which may include open heart surgery.
Thanks to the continuous evolution of medicine and development of new techniques, Dr. Banka received training in percutaneous (literally meaning “done through unbroken skin”) closure of ASDs. With a needle and specialized catheters, Dr. Banka inserted a closure device into the defect and deployed the disks which closed the hole in the patient’s heart. “The case was a success and an exciting time for all of those involved,” said Danielle Heffner, MHA, BBA, director of Cardiology Services. “We would like to congratulate Dr. Sahil Banka and look forward to seeing him do more structural heart procedures here at Pennsylvania Hospital.”
“In the past open-heart surgery was the only option for patients with ASD. However, due to advances in technology, percutaneous closure is becoming more common,” said Dr. Banka. “It was a real pleasure and a privilege to be part of the first catheter based ASD closure at Pennsylvania Hospital. We look forward to offering many more structural heart procedures to our patients here in the future.”