Ventricular Reduction

By Meg Marinis, Director of Medical Research | Oct 18th, 2012

How much do you love Mr. Feeny? I mean Dr. Thomas? (For those of you who are new William Daniels' fans, he played Mr. Feeny in the awesome television show "Boy Meets World"). 

Personally, I could not love Dr. Thomas more after this episode. I love how he frustrates Cristina, challenges Cristina, overwhelms Cristina… I love how he eventually teaches Cristina, and we start to see that the two aren't so different. Even though the two initially may not see eye to eye on the correct approach to treat a patient's end-stage heart disease, they both share a discomfort in personally interacting with patients and their families. And as we saw in tonight's episode, "Love The One You're With," they also share a passion for the artistry of surgery.

Dr. Thomas performed a ventricular reduction, also known as the Batista Procedure.

In a heart, a normal left ventricle is relatively small, muscular, and cylindrical in shape. But when cardiomyopathy ensues (heart muscle disease), the ventricle undergoes a "remodeling" in which it enlarges and becomes spherical. The long-term effect of this change significantly reduces the heart's ability to function effectively. So, a ventricular reduction involves removing a flap of heart muscle from the dilated left ventricles of patients with severe heart failure. This technique shrinks the size of the ventricle and improves its geometry in order to improve the efficiency of cardiac function.