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Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute Clinical Trial To Investigate Effectiveness Of Cardiac Surgery Device

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patients undergoing open heart procedures such as coronary artery bypass or valve surgery may be eligible to enroll in a clinical trial available in the Kansas City area only at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute.

The SternaLock® Blu clinical trial will compare patients whose sternum (breastbone) is closed with conventional stainless steel wire to patients whose sternum is closed with Biomet's SternaLock® Blu Primary Closure System to evaluate sternal bone healing following a full median sternotomy.

A median sternotomy is the incision typically used when performing an open heart procedure.  Following the procedure the breast plate is typically put back together with wires. The SternaLock closure uses plates and screws commonly used during orthopedic cases.  This study is designed to determine if one method of sternal closure results in better healing of the breastbone compared to the other and if there are differences in the amount of pain, the use of pain medication, and functional recovery following heart surgery between the two closure methods. More than 700,000 sternotomies are performed in the U.S. annually.

Outcomes in this trial will include bone healing, post-operative pain, analgesic usage, patient function, and quality of life, in addition to economic costs between wires and the SternaLock system.  

Keith Allen , M.D., director of surgical research and a cardiothoracic surgeon at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, is the trial's national principal investigator. The trial plans to enroll 236 patients from up to 12 leading cardiac centers in the U.S.

"The standard of care to date has been use of wires to close and stabilize the breastbone following cardiac surgery," said Dr. Allen. "Previous research has shown improved bone healing and reduced post-operative pain in patients receiving a rigid fixation device following sternotomy. Saint Luke's looks forward to contributing to the pioneering research into this new surgical option."

Saint Luke's enrolled its first patient on Feb. 8 with a patient who received an aortic valve replacement performed by J. Russell Davis , M.D. The 56-year-old man is healing well after surgery to correct a defective heart valve. 

About Biomet
Biomet, Inc. and its subsidiaries design, manufacture and market products used primarily by musculoskeletal medical specialists in both surgical and non-surgical therapy. For more information visit

About Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute
Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, a member of Saint Luke's Health System and a teaching affiliate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is one of the preeminent cardiovascular programs in the country. Its legacy of innovation began more than 25 years ago when it opened as the nation's first heart hospital. Since then, the Heart Institute has earned a world-wide reputation for excellence in the treatment of heart disease, including interventional cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, imaging, heart failure, transplant, heart disease prevention, women's heart disease, electrophysiology, outcomes research, and health economics. With more than 50 full-time board certified cardiovascular specialists on staff, the Heart Institute offers one of the largest heart failure/heart transplant programs in the country, has the largest experience with transcatheter aortic valve replacement in the Midwest, and is a global teaching site for the newest approaches to opening challenging blocked arteries using minimally invasive techniques.

SOURCE Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute
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