CardiaMend: A New Patch To Stop Post-Operative Atrial Fibrillation?
Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate & Author
Medical Expert: Robert Saeid Farivar, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Saint Alphonsus Health
Published: July 12, 2023
Atrial Fibrillation is a dangerous, post-operative complication for heart surgery patients. Unfortunately, research suggests that up to 30% of heart surgery patients experience AFib, an irregular heartbeat that causes poor blood flow and debilitating symptoms including shortness of breath. According to the American Heart Association, patients with atrial fibrillation are 5 times more likely to have a stroke.
To potentially stop post-operative atrial fibrillation, Dr. Robert Saeid Farivar, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Saint Alphonsus Heart Institute in Boise, Idaho, is leading an innovative clinical trial that uses the CardiaMend patch on patients undergoing isolated heart valve surgery or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
Key Learnings About CardiaMend & Post-Op AFib
Here are the key learnings about the CardiaMend clinical trial:
- Atrial fibrillation is common, annoying and potential deadly for heart surgery patients. Dr. Farivar states, “Atrial Fibrillation is super common. It can be very minor, annoying and keep the patient in the hospital for a few extra days. Or, AFib can be deadly and cause strokes and heart attacks. Our goal is to get rid of AFib completely so patients can go home as quickly as possible and feel as well as possible.”
- Dr. Farivar is the principal investigator for the new clinical trial evaluating the use of the CardiaMend patch soaked in Amiodarone for the prevention of post-op AFib. “The solution we’ve come up with is to take a sheet of fetal bovine dermis, the skin of cows, and treat it with Amiodarone, which is an antiarrhythmic agent. That antiarrhythmic agent slowly penetrates into the heart. It’s like putting topical salicylate, or Bengay, on something.”
- The CardiaMend patch is implanted during the cardiac procedure so the patient does not need to take any drugs after the operation. Dr. Farivar states, “You don’t have to take it by pill. You don’t have to get an IV injection, and it gets rid of the AFib completely.”
- Dr. Farivar is currently enrolling patients in the CardiaMend clinical trial. So far, the results of this research study have been encouraging. Dr. Farivar states, “We have enrolled 24 patients to date with great results!”
Thanks to Dr. Farivar, Saint Alphonsus Heart Institute & Helios Cardio
As this is such a big problem for heart surgery patients, I want to thank Dr. Farivar, his team at Saint Alphonsus Heart Institute, and Helios Cardio, the manufacturer of CardiaMend, for their collective work on this clinical trial that is evaluating the safety-and-efficacy of this new therapy to prevent post-op AFib!
Keep on tickin!
P.S. For the deaf and hard of hearing members of our community, I have provided a written transcript of the video interview below.
Adam Pick: Hi, everybody, it’s Adam with HeartValveSurgery.com, and we’re at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Conference in Los Angeles, California. I’m thrilled to be joined by Dr. Robert Saeid Farivar who is the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Saint Alphonsus Heart in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Farivar, it is great to see you again.
Dr. Farivar: It’s great to see you too. I’ve known you since 2014, I think?
Adam Pick: Many years, you’ve been a great supporter of the website, and you’ve successfully treated so many patients in our community. Thanks for that work. We were just having a conversation at the conference all about a big problem that patients in our community experience, which is atrial fibrillation after surgery. I’ve got to ask you, is this a common thing for patients, and what do they experience after a procedure?
Dr. Farivar: It’s super common. Atrial fibrillation is an irregularly irregular heartbeat. It can be very minor and annoying and keep you there a few extra days, or it can be deadly and cause strokes and heart attacks. Our goal is to get rid of it completely so patients can go home as quickly as possible and feel as well as possible. The solution we’ve come up with is to take a sheet of fetal bovine dermis, so the skin of cows, and treat it with amiodarone, which is an antiarrhythmic agent. That antiarrhythmic agent slowly penetrates into the heart. It’s like putting topical salicylate or Bengay on something. You don’t have to take it by pill. You don’t have to get an IV injection, and it gets rid of the a-fib completely. This is a safety study with 30 patients, and we’ve currently enrolled 23. The results should be out soon in the next few months, and we’re very excited about the results we’ve had to date.
Adam Pick: You’re excited, I’m excited, and I’m sure the community is excited, because, as we’ve talked about, it’s a big problem. On behalf of the patients at heartvalvesurgery.com, patients all over the world, Dr. Farivar, thank you for doing this very important and innovative research to find out if this patch is a new reproach to eliminating a-fib after heart valve surgery. Thanks so much!
Dr. Farivar: Thank you, Adam.