A breeding ground for medical breakthroughs

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This article is adapted from the second edition of the Foundation’s magazine

Dr. Jean-François Tanguay and Dr. Philippe Demers tell us how the Institute’s teams are constantly pushing the boundaries of cardiovascular medicine.

The Institute has always been a fertile ground for innovation. For instance, in April 2021, Dr. Jean-François Tanguay, head of the Institute’s hemodynamics department, implanted a new BIOTRONIK Orsiro stent in a patient, a first in Canada. This stent’s mesh tube is about half the size of traditional devices, thereby allowing for greater precision in small blood vessels. Moreover, Dr. Mohamed Nosair implanted a Boston Scientific MEGATRON stent in a patient, a first in North America. This stent is more robust and makes it easier to carry out procedures on larger arteries.

And the achievements don’t end there. The surgery department and cardiac surgeon Dr. Philippe Demers implanted a new biological aortic prosthesis in a patient in 2021. A Canadian first. This state-of-the-art device allows surgeons to reconstruct the aortic root with a next-generation biological valve. Moreover, this new prosthesis requires no anticoagulants and is expected to be more durable than traditional prostheses whose lifespans are usually 10 to 15 years.

A domino effect

The positive impacts of these firsts are undeniable. First, they allow patients to benefit from technology that is not yet available on the market. According to Dr. Tanguay, the effects also ripple throughout the entire health care system. “In the long run, if there are fewer complications, hospitalizations will be shorter and fewer patients will come to the emergency room. These are also positive ramifications.” Furthermore, these advances represent golden learning opportunities for students and professionals who come to the Institute for training.

“Medical firsts are a source of great pride for our institution,” said Dr. Demers. “In these moments, we feel like we are embodying the mission of the Institute which is to innovate and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in treating cardiovascular diseases. It is immensely gratifying to provide what we think is the most cutting-edge technologies to our patients.”

Key partners

These kinds of advances are made possible thanks to the close ties between various partners: patients, health care teams, R&D firms, and donors. Both researchers want to highlight the generosity of philanthropists, who have enabled the Institute to purchase cutting-edge equipment such as LUCAS chest compression devices and new generation surgical robots. “The Foundation is the pillar of the Institute. It is a key partner for its clinical services and for all its clinical and basic research activities,” added Dr. Demers.

The legacy of innovation at the Institute continues to thrive. It was the first institution in the world to implement a virtual engagement and monitoring platform for patients designed by Canadian firm SeamlessMD. The results are very encouraging and demonstrate that it is always possible to do more, a principle that drives the Institute’s teams.

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