A quick scan of the papers has revealed some very interesting medical inventions. Both devices seem to really improve quality of life for people with medical conditions. Check them out below:
- An article in the Mail on Sunday on the 17th Jan talked about a Wrist replacement for Arthritis. Janet Hickton, a grandmother of 8, has had a new procedure – the Maestro total wrist replacement – as a solution for the severe pain from her arthritis. A condition so painful that she was unable to even hold her grandchildren’s hands. The surgery takes about an hour to perform and, like other joint replacements, the procedure is suitable for middle aged and elderly patients, with healthy bones. The £10,950 procedure is available on the NHS but, as it is so specialist, only 5 or 6 centres currently offer it. Now Janet is virtually pain free and has regained her dexterity, giving her more freedom to live her life and enjoy her leisure time.
- An engineer has designed a life saving heart repair kit, giving hope to 1000s of people with an inherited heart condition, that otherwise might prohibit them from a number of sporting activities and holidays etc. In 2000, Tal Goldsworthy was told he would need major heart surgery as a result of his medical condition, Marfan Syndrome, which was causing his aorta to gradually expand, and be in danger of splitting, causing a fatal heart attack. The surgery would involve removing the faulty blood vessel and replacing it with an artificial artery. After that, Tal would need to be on blood thinning drugs for the rest of his life to prevent clots forming inside the artificial artery. What is more, this surgery would restrict his life as it would prohibit him from undertaking any activities that might pose a risk of injury – not great for someone who enjoys sporty activities. Instead, Tal decided to come up with his own solution, working with Imperial College, London. The project took 2 years and the result was EARS or External Aortic Root Support: a polyester sleeve that wraps around the aorta to prevent it expanding. Each knitted sleeve is created using scans of the individual patients aorta and computer assisted design to produce a device that fits precisely around the aorta. In May 2004, Tal became the first recipient of EARS. The operation was a complete success and now a further 19 patients have undergone the EARS procedure. Tal is now just so thankful that he is not dependent on anticoagulant drugs so he can still enjoy skiing and cycling. The operation has not compromised his lifestyle in any way.
We will keep you updated on any other new developments we see that might be of interest for people travelling with medical conditions.