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Published in CenterView on January 28, 2013

UMMC pediatric cardiologists broadcast procedures live for symposium attendees

By Jack Mazurak

Dr. Makram Ebeid and a team at UMMC recently performed two catheterized heart-repair procedures that streamed live to an international conference.

Specialists at the Pediatric and Adult Interventional Cardiac Symposium in Miami watched, learned techniques, made comments and asked questions during the procedures.

UMMC is the state’s only location for catheterized congenital heart defect repair and one of only a handful offering it in the South.

Ebeid, right, from left are videographer Joe Kowalski, Dr. Thomas K. Jones, professor of pediatrics and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories director at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Lesley Otts, UMMC cardiac catheterization lab nurse.
Ebeid, right, from left are videographer Joe Kowalski, Dr. Thomas K. Jones, professor of pediatrics and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories director at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Lesley Otts, UMMC cardiac catheterization lab nurse.

An 18-year-old patient received a new valve in his pulmonary artery, which helps control blood flow from the heart to the lungs. In the second case, an 11-year-old boy received a stent to widen a restrictive blood vessel near his heart.

In catheterization, a doctor threads a wire into a blood vessel, and guided by X-ray imaging, feeds it through the vessels to the heart, brain or other target area. The physician then uses various instruments guided along the wire to make repairs, open narrowed vessels with stents, burn or freeze problematic features, or remove clots or other obstructions.
Symposium organizers invited Ebeid, professor of pediatric cardiology, to perform the procedures live, a credit to Medical Center’s cardiac catheterization prowess.

“This is tremendous recognition for the Medical Center and to what we do in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory,” he said. “It takes a big team of very accomplished people to do this and I’m glad we were able to participate in the symposium.”

Dr. Makram Ebeid, right, UMMC professor of pediatric cardiology, places a combination stent and valve in the pulmonary artery of an 18-year-old patient.
Dr. Makram Ebeid, right, UMMC professor of pediatric cardiology, places a combination stent and valve in the pulmonary artery of an 18-year-old patient.

At the conference in Miami, cardiologists, their staff members, and device-makers from across the world watched about 45 minutes of each procedure, asked questions and made comments. Ebeid explained details of each process, why he chose certain instruments and which methods he’s found work well.

Although Ebeid has helped organize the symposium for years, these were the first case presentations from the Medical Center.

Ebeid catheterized the 11-year-old patient through the liver and into a blood vessel, a technique still uncommon among interventional cardiologists.

Monitors in the UMMC pediatric cardiac catheterization lab show display the progress that Dr. Makram Ebeid, center facing front, UMMC professor of pediatric cardiology, makes as he places a combination stent and valve in the pulmonary artery of an 18-year-old patient.
Monitors in the UMMC pediatric cardiac catheterization lab show display the progress that Dr. Makram Ebeid, center facing front, UMMC professor of pediatric cardiology, makes as he places a combination stent and valve in the pulmonary artery of an 18-year-old patient.

“Usually, you’d go in through a vessel in the leg and thread the catheter up to the heart,” Ebeid said. “But we knew prior to this procedure the patient’s leg vessels were occluded. The conference organizers asked me to present this case because I do a lot of those.”

Since catheterized heart procedures are far less invasive than open-heart surgery, patients recover quicker and endure less discomfort.

“Theoretically, the patient who received the valve, which was the more complex procedure, could go home tonight,” he said on Jan. 21, the day of the procedures. “We’ll keep him overnight to check his numbers and make sure everything is working properly.”

Rivard
Rivard

Dr. Andrew Rivard, assistant professor of radiology, provided imaging expertise before and commentary during the procedures. He said it’s just as important for Mississippians to understand the advanced care available at the Medical Center as it is for practitioners around the world.

“This was an opportunity to see how physicians here can use their talents, training and devices to the full extent of their capabilities,” Rivard said.

Alongside Ebeid in the pediatric catheterization lab, Dr. Thomas K. Jones, professor of pediatrics and cardiac catheterization laboratories director at Seattle Children’s Hospital, helped narrate the procedures.

Jones, one of the symposium’s course directors, said the 12-year-old international conference is built around live cases. The Medical Center’s participation this year speaks to the catheterization program’s reputation.

“We select cardiac catheterization laboratories and operators that are known to be experienced in these advanced interventional procedures in patients with congenital heart disease,” Jones said. “Dr. Ebeid is very well known and has an international reputation for doing this kind of quality work.”