A team of surgeons and haematologists at a hospital here have succeeded in implanting stem cells with lasers in the hearts of two patients, Spanish news agency EFE said.
Juan Duarte, head of the cardiac surgery unit at La Princesa University Hospital, said the stem cells were extracted from the bone marrow of the patients at the time of surgery, a procedure that took no longer than 10 minutes.
Once the first step was completed, the implantation of some 3 billion mononuclear cells, among which were the stem cells, was performed with a system of re-vascularization.
This breakthrough technique combines a laser beam that opens canals in the left ventricle of the heart with a special device with three needles to perforate the cardiac muscle and inject the cells.
The medics who performed the surgery presented the results Tuesday at a press conference, in which they identified the patients as a 68-year-old woman and a man of 59.
The patients frequently suffered chest pains for which they constantly had to be hospitalized. They were taking up to 15 pills a day without a perceptible sign of improvement.
More than 50,000 coronary operations and over 4,000 heart surgeries are performed each year in Spain.