InCor: In October, the Instituto do Coração of the Hospital das Clínicas of the Faculty of Medicine of USP (InCor) performed an unprecedented surgery in the world, aimed at treating a patient with pulmonary arterial hypertension who also suffered from congestive heart failure (CHF). This last condition makes it mandatory to carry out a transplant, which, in turn, cannot be performed because of the lung disease.
To solve this physiological “beak snooker”, InCor adopted a very simple logic solution, but highly complex to execute: using a new donated heart to reverse high lung pressure, while the sick heart, already “accustomed” to high pulmonary pressure overload provides support to the newly implanted heart.
Although the idea of using two hearts in one patient may seem strange to laypersons, it already exists in the world and is called heterotopic, but it is not effective in the long run. Thus, the inventor of the new technique, dr. Fábio Gaiotto, a cardiovascular surgeon, developed a variant so that, at first, “the donated heart is used as a therapy for pulmonary hypertension and, in the end, it replaces the sick heart,” the doctor said in a statement.
The man with two hearts
The patient operated on with the new technique, Lincon, had suffered a heart attack in February 2020, when he had three stents implanted in his heart, but the pandemic forced him to discontinue the treatment. Upon returning to the doctor, the patient found that he had severe congestive heart failure (CHF) level 3, on a scale where 4 is terminal.