NewYork-Presbyterian is recognized as the first hospital in the greater New York area to have cardiothoracic surgeons trained in Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR), a technique that offers relief for people suffering from severe angina.
Angina is the pain or discomfort associated with atherosclerosis, and is caused by clogged blood vessels that cannot deliver enough oxygen to the heart. People who have reasonably good heart function (no heart failure), but who are not candidates for traditional surgical interventions – such as angioplasty, stent placement, or bypass surgery – and who still experience pain while taking medications for angina are ideal candidates for TMR.
During TMR, a laser device creates multiple tiny (about 1 mm in diameter) channels in areas of the wall of the heart's ventricle that are not receiving sufficient blood supply. These channels serve as sites for the growth of tiny new blood vessels that help increase blood flow to the heart. Studies have shown that 70 percent of patients with severe angina treated with TMR have decreased pain, and therefore better quality of life.