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Surgery Reconstructs Hearts in Failure

Media Contact: Karen Blum 410-955-1534
November 10, 2003

Surgery Reconstructs Hearts in Failure
Could Reduce the Number of People on Heart Transplant Wait Lists 

A Johns Hopkins cardiac surgeon is one of only a handful in the country performing an uncommon procedure to reshape enlarged, damaged hearts in heart failure patients, restoring efficiency and potentially preventing the need for a transplant.
In the procedure, called ventricular restoration, John V. Conte, M.D., restores the heart to its normal size by removing non-functioning tissue scarred by a heart attack.  The process uses a plastic mold inserted into the left ventricle, or main pumping chamber of the heart, as a guide to determine normal size and shape.  The result?  A heart that contracts more efficiently. 
"By reshaping the hearts to a normal and more elliptical shape, we get better contraction," says Conte, director of the heart and lung transplant programs at Johns Hopkins and a teacher of national training courses for the procedure.  "The procedure could take patients off the heart transplant wait list, or prevent them from going on the wait list to begin with."
For more information or to make an appointment, contact Michele Waldron, nurse coordinator for the program, at 443-287-0388 or .

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To interview Conte, or to view a procedure, please call me at 410-955-1534.