Charitable Foundation Brings Two Los Angeles Surgeons to Egypt to Perform Specialized Surgery

July 19, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Two Los Angeles surgeons, the father a neurosurgeon and the son a plastic surgeon, were recently brought to Cairo, Egypt so they could perform a complicated breathing surgery they developed. A charitable foundation based in the United Arab Emirates arranged the trip and treatment so the surgeons could perform their surgery on a patient whose gunshot injury to the spine left him confined to a ventilator for his breathing.

A devastating complication of some spinal injuries is to be forced to use a ventilator for all breathing. The surgical procedure developed by the surgical team of Krieger and Krieger is an advanced procedure to help these patients. With Krieger and Krieger's breathing surgery, these patients have the opportunity to breathe without the use of a mechanical ventilator.

Their procedure is a nerve surgery. The phrenic nerve controls breathing by telling the diaphragm to inhale. When this nerve does not work because of a spine injury, the doctors attach a different and functional nerve to this one. The new combined nerve stimulates the diaphragm to pull oxygen into the lungs. The procedure uses a pacemaker to stimulate the phrenic nerve. "The key is to get the diaphragm to pull oxygen into the lungs. We create a hybrid nerve to tell the diaphragm to do this," said cosmetic surgery specialist Dr. Lloyd Krieger. He also notes that in some cases a pacemaker placed on the phrenic nerve itself is enough to stimulate breathing.

The patient in Egypt suffered a gunshot wound to his spinal cord. This injury damaged the area that controls the phrenic nerve and thus breathing. Before the specialized nerve plastic surgeryhe was constantly confined to the ventilator and needed it to survive.

The surgeons did the procedure to place a pacemaker on the nerve supplying the patient's diaphragm on October 5, 2009 at Sheikh Zayed Specialized Hospital in Cairo's 6th of October Governorate. During the surgery, the doctors noted that the pacemaker worked to make the breathing muscle move without the additional surgery of doing a nerve graft. "From what we saw during surgery, the procedure seems to have been a success," said neurosurgeon Dr. Abbott Krieger. "But we do not know the result immediately. The patient needs some time to recover and heal and then we will test the pacemaker to see if it stimulates breathing. He will then work through a training program so he can adapt to breathing with the internal pacemaker only, without the use of an external ventilator."

If the patient is able to breathe without the use of a ventilator, his quality of life will improve dramatically. For example, the use of an internal pacemaker should permit him to sit upright rather than flat, to be mobile in a wheelchair, to speak, and to use a computer. "Despite suffering a devastating injury, successful phrenic nerve pacing offers dramatic improvements in quality of life," concludes Dr. Abbott Krieger.

Both Drs. Lloyd Krieger and Abbott Krieger are based in Beverly Hills, California at Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery. The facility has developed an international reputation for such procedures as rhinoplasty. The Center and these physicians have been featured in the local, national, and international media. Recent stories have appeared on their work doing breast augmentation
and other procedures on CNBC, Access Hollywood, Univision, Telemundo, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Elle, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, The Los Angeles Daily News, Star, KTLA Morning News, InTouch Weekly, Life & Style, French Television, Japan's Chocolat Siene Magazine, Mexico City's Reforma Magazine, Turkey's edition of Forbes, BBC Brazil, and Britain's Daily Mail and Sunday Express newspapers and Grazia Magazine, as well as media from Sweden, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand and Australia.

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