But one area of cardiac surgery had, until Dr. Paul Fedak came along, remained relatively unchanged in the last 50 years. Physicians were still using old-fashioned wire to close patients’ chests, in order to encourage the bones in the sternum to knit after they cracked the breast-bone to perform open-heart surgery.
“It seemed out-of-date compared to the rest of cardiac surgery,” says Fedak, 37, a cardiac surgeon with Alberta Health Services in Calgary, and a clinical investigator with the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. “It’s not up-to-speed with what patients want.”
So when Fedak learned about a new kind of polymer made from the castor bean plant and mixed with calcium carbonate – a component of bone – he decided to try the super-glue to solve the problem of healing his patients’ chests.
Dr. Fedak joins an illustrious group of researchers, including the likes of Dr. Anne Gillis and Dr. Salim Yusuf and Dr. Sam Weiss, having been featured by CHR. You can review the list and see past profiles here.