In a remarkable medical breakthrough, doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago successfully employed an innovative technique using breast implants to save the life of a man with severe lung damage. The procedure, which involved placing saline-filled breast implants in the patient’s chest cavity to stabilize his heart and allow his lungs to heal, allowed the patient to undergo a life-saving double lung transplant.
Davey Bauer, a 34-year-old man from De Soto, Missouri, had been suffering from lung damage caused by smoking and vaping. When his condition deteriorated rapidly, he was transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a device that pumps and oxygenates blood from outside the body.
However, Bauer’s condition continued to worsen, and his only hope for survival was a double lung transplant. Unfortunately, his heart was too unstable to withstand the procedure. To stabilize his heart, doctors decided to use a novel approach involving the placement of breast implants.
“We were facing a very difficult situation,” explained Dr. Ankit Bharat, chief of thoracic surgery and director of the Canning Thoracic Institute at Northwestern Medicine. “Davey’s lungs were severely damaged, and his heart was too unstable for a transplant. We needed a way to stabilize his heart so that we could give his lungs a chance to heal.”
The team of surgeons, led by Dr. Bharat, carefully inserted saline-filled breast implants into Bauer’s chest cavity, creating a space to support his heart and prevent it from shifting. This innovative technique allowed Bauer’s heart to recover sufficiently to undergo the double lung transplant.
The transplant was a success, and Bauer made a remarkable recovery. He is now breathing on his own and has regained his strength and energy.
“I am so grateful to the doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital,” Bauer said. “They gave me a second chance at life.”
The use of breast implants in this groundbreaking procedure is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of medical professionals. This technique offers new hope for transplant patients with severe lung damage and could potentially save many lives.