TECHNOLOGY

Sir Mick Jagger is pictured in a park after a life-saving heart operation


Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger posted a photo of himself walking in the park last week after undergoing life-saving heart surgery.

The 75-year-old singer underwent heart valve replacement surgery using a technique developed by a French cardiologist.

The Transcatherter Aortic Valve Replacement [TAVR] method enables surgeons to replace a patient's heart valves without resorting to open heart surgery and having to open their chest.

Sir Mick Jagger, pictured in New York, is on his feet again after a life-saving heart operation

Sir Mick, who was pictured before his operation on March 31, had to cancel a tour because of his severe heart condition

Sir Mick, who was pictured before his operation on March 31, had to cancel a tour because of his severe heart condition

As a result, recovery times are much faster.

Sir Mick, wearing black stonewashed jeans, a black shirt and black hat, wrote "A Walk in the Park" referring to his recent operation.

The technique used by doctors in New York was developed by Professor Alain Cribier. He said: “I'm not a particular fan of the Rolling Stones, but I'm happy with the result. What is moving is to think of all the patients who have benefited from the procedure. & # 39;

Jagger thanked his many fans for the messages of goodwill after the operation. He wrote: "I feel much better now and on the mend."

The quietly spoken cardiologist, who pioneered in 2002 and carefully weighed his words, doesn't have the charm of a rock star.

But many colleagues see him that way in his field.

The most common – and most serious – valve disease, age-related aortic stenosis, occurs when the valve narrows and hardens with calcium deposits.

In the past, valve replacement was accomplished by surgically opening the chest, stopping the heart, and placing the patient on a cardiac and pulmonary blood machine – all under general anesthesia, of course.

According to NewHeartValve in the UK, over 200,000 such procedures are performed worldwide each year.

Pre-operation comment The Rolling Stones confirmed that Mick would be back as soon as possible

Pre-operation comment The Rolling Stones confirmed that Mick would be back as soon as possible

The cribier technique, which is performed under local anesthesia, is minimally invasive in comparison and has much shorter recovery times.

A surgeon or cardiologist uses an incision near the groin to access the femoral artery to insert a catheter with a replacement valve into a collapsed stent and an inflatable balloon.

Once the new heart valve is expanded, it pushes the old one out of the way and regulates blood flow.

"It has revolutionized patient care in this area," Montpellier-based cardiologist Stephane Cade told AFP.

Since the first operation in 2002, Cribier has trained dozens of doctors around the world. Initially, TAVR was reserved for patients who were too weak or too old to undergo open heart surgery.

However, in the past decade, use has been extended to those for whom the traditional approach is an “intermediate risk”.

Since 2009, 400,000 patients in 65 countries have undergone the procedure, said Cribier.

The band, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts, had planned to tour the United States and Canada

The band, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts, had planned to tour the United States and Canada

These numbers could now grow rapidly.

A study based on clinical trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine last month concluded that TAVR was safer and better for "low-risk" patients.

"I have to say reading the study brought tears to my eyes," said Cribier.

The idea first came to him in the 1980s.

"At that time, we just let patients over 75 die – we didn't operate," he recalled.

After an initial attempt to develop a new technique failed, it became an "obsession" to find one that worked.

When he finally succeeded, the approach was received with skepticism.

& # 39; Cardiac surgeons were completely against it. "Who is this fool trying to undercut our work?" They asked.

Nowadays, TAVR is mainly performed by cardiologists and not by surgeons. But that too could change soon.

"Surgeons are now facing the evidence," said Cribier. "You will now start taking it over."

The lifespan of the new flaps, which are made from bovine fabric, is unknown.

"It has only been in use for a relatively short time – we just don't know it yet," commented Herve Douard, cardiologist in Bordeaux.

.