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Health Information Best of the Blog: A Q&A With Cardiac Surgeon Jai Raman

One of Rush's new surgeons discusses minimally invasive heart surgery — and more.

Last September, Jai Raman, MBBS, MMed, PhD, joined Rush University Medical Center as its new surgical director of heart transplant and chief of the Section of Cardiac Surgery in the Department of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery. The following is an excerpt from an interview with Raman, conducted by Rush writer Kevin McKeough, which is posted on the Rush InPerson blog:

Q: How have you expanded [Rush's] cardiac surgery program so rapidly?
A: We've lowered the risk profile for minimally invasive procedures, so we’re able to use them to treat lower-risk patients as well as high-riskpatients who might not survive open-chest surgery … We now are also able to treat heart failure with ventricular assist devices and heart transplantation.

Q: You mentioned that you're treating lower-risk patients with minimally invasive techniques. Tell us more about it.
A: When cardiac surgery first became a specialty in the 1950s, the traditional approach to most heart surgery was a big incision down the middle of the chest, through the breast bone, which is called stenotomy. That proce­dure was popularized by Dr. Ormand Julian, who at the time was a senior surgeon at Rush.

After the surgery was done, the breast bone was always lashed together with wire. That is still the accepted norm all over the world. One of my contributions is to see how we can use metal plates and screws to fix the bone back together. If you lash the bone together with wire, it still moves a little, so it takes a long time to heal. With plates, the bone doesn’t move and the healing is more effective.

Read the rest of the Q&A with Jai Raman on the Rush InPerson blog.


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Please Note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.

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