Plugging the gaps

2019-03-07 03:06:05

An implant that permanently seals holes in the heart has been developed by Peter Block and his colleagues at Emory University in Atlanta. The device has two collapsible polyester patches attached to the ends of a small metal rod—like a double-ended umbrella. When collapsed, the implant can be threaded through a vein in the leg and into the heart. One of the patches plugs the hole and the other rests against nearby tissue to anchor the implant. The procedure takes half an hour, says Block,