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St. Francis Surgeon Uses Tissue Regeneration Technology to Rebuild Patients' Heart Structures
Date:7/8/2009

. "Then, in March 2008, we performed the first enlargement of the path blood follows as it exits the heart using the CorMatrix ECM, in lieu of a prosthetic device, for a patient undergoing valve surgery.

The first mitral valve reconstruction using CorMatrix occurred at St. Francis Heart Center as well, in October of 2008. Large defects had been created in a patient's valve by infection. The valve was restored to normal function using CorMatrix patches, avoiding a valve replacement.

"We have been able to make similar repairs for other patients since," added Gerdisch.

The CorMatrix ECM is derived from porcine small intestines and is processed in a way that removes all cells, leaving the complex structural matrix intact. Once surgically implanted, it serves as a scaffold, allowing the patient's cells to infiltrate and ultimately replace the ECM scaffold.

While the patient continues to heal, the matrix gradually is replaced as the body reinforces and remodels the tissue. In the past, tissue replacement has been limited by options for implantation.

Animal tissue implants are subject to calcium deposition and hardening, due to the body's ability to recognize them as foreign. Synthetic material lacks the performance characteristics of tissue and causes an inflammatory response. ECM, however, leads to growth of functional tissue where scarring would normally be expected.

More information about how the ECM is being used at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is at www.cardiactissuerepair.net.

About St. Francis Heart Center

Referring physicians wanting to learn more about heart valve surgery and Dr. Marc Gerdisch's work with ECM can call toll-free at 1-866-237-0565. The St. Francis Heart Center is dedicated to providing our patients with the region'
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SOURCE St. Francis Heart Center
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