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The Institut Guttmann implants diaphragmatic pacemakers to patients with a quadriplegia
Wednesday, 12 July, 2017
The Institut Guttmann in collaboration with the team of surgeons of the Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol has intervened two patients for the placement of a diaphragmatic implant to facilitate ventilation through electrical stimulation of the diaphragm. This procedure consists of a device that, surgically implanted in the diaphragm, causes a muscular contraction of the diaphragm and offers patients with high cervical lesions and in some neuromuscular diseases, dependent on ventilatory support, the possibility of breathing without mechanical support (after a training); which it is a significant improvement of their quality of life, the reduction of respiratory infections and also the increase of their own survival.
It is an intervention model, unique in Spain, performed jointly between the Spinal Cord Unit of the Institut Guttmann and the team of Thoracic Surgery, Pediatric Surgery and General Surgery of the Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (HGTiP). One of the cases intervened on this occasion was a 9-year-old patient, who had already been implanted for some time and needed a review of the cables. The second operation was performed on an 18-year-old patient with a quadriplegia, and just after the operation, in the same operating room, he was able to breathe without the ventilator successfully, although now he will have to undergo a respiratory rehabilitation program.
The Institut Gutmann - Germans Trias Hospital alliance allows the Institut Guttmann to be the only hospital in Spain to perform this type of diaphragmatic pacemaker implants, both in adults and children of very early age, with satisfactory results. For this intervention a clinical and surgical team was formed by Dr. Joan Vidal and Dr. Francisco Javier Curià, doctors of the Institut Guttmann and coordinators of the program; Dr. Pedro López de Castro, Chief of the Thoracic Surgery Service; Dr. Carlos Martinez, thoracic surgeon; Dr. Marta de Diego, Head of the Pediatric Surgery Service and Dr. Jordi Tarascón, Deputy General Surgery Service of the HGTiP