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Why fixing a common defect in preemies no longer requires cutting open tiny chests
The Sacramento Bee

Weighing little more than 3 pounds 7 ounces, tiny Marcellus Brown had a life-threatening problem with his blood flow, one that is common for preemies. To fix it, surgeons at most medical centers cut into these infants’ delicate chests and spread them open to work.

Dr. Frank Ing made just a needle prick to perform a procedure that repaired the problem.

“It is only in the last year or two where we were able to find a device that was small enough to get through the small vessels of the smallest babies, like (baby Marcellus’) size, and get to the heart and do this safely,” said Ing, a pioneering pediatric cardiologist at UC Davis Medical Center.   “The technology of being able to miniaturize or nano-size the tools we use to get into the smaller vessels in the smaller hearts … is new.”

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