St. Vincent's new equipment makes pediatric heart procedure possible in Toledo

Faith Flores
Faith Flores

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - A new medical procedure is available for the first time in the Toledo area, and it could drastically change how children with cardiovascular problems are treated in northwest Ohio.

Earlier this week, surgeons at Saint Vincent's Mercy Children's Hospital performed their first pediatric cardiac catheterization procedure, which was previously only available for Toledo-area patients at the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Clinic.

The patient, 14-month-old Faith Flores, was born with a muscular ventricular septal defect, a hole in the wall that separates the lower chambers of her heart.

Previously, the only local option to close that hole was open heart surgery, but new equipment recently acquired by Mercy was utilized in a non-invasive procedure with a catheter through her femoral artery.

Greg Hood, director of Mercy Children's Hospital Cardiovascular Services says on top of drastically lowering the chances of mortality from an open heart surgery, this procedure only lasts five hours and cuts recovery time by nearly 90 percent.

"If it was an open heart surgery, the patient would be coming into the hospital, being here for about four or five days," said Hood. "When we do this procedure, she's going home the next day. So that's the big difference - the patient recovers a lot faster."

Faith Flores was released Friday with no complications from her surgery.

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