Just as the wild imagination of Jules Verne proved to be prescient, the fantasy world played out in The Fantastic Voyage appears to be on the verge of reality. For those who missed this “classic” 1966 screenplay, the plot includes shrinking a medical team supported by sailors in a nuclear powered mini-sub and injecting them into a patient so they can circumnavigate through the blood stream to remove a blood clot in the brain.
I’m currently recuperating from a catheter ablation procedure for atrial fibrillation which was not quite so fantastic but every bit as incredible. The medical team from New York Hospital Cornell Weill Medical Center, supported by a ConEd power line crew, several percussionists from the New York Philharmonic, and a Swiss watchmaker remained normal sized but worked with miniature robotic tools inserted into my veins so they could repair some downed power lines that were sparking and causing my heart to misfire and beat out of rhythm.
After prepping me so that I’ll look my best in my Speedo (LOL) they wheeled me into the procedure room which looked more like the NASA space launch control center than a hospital. A suite of remote controlled miniature tools including a video camera, GPS navigation system, electrical sensing probe, and radio frequency blow torch were inserted through several femoral veins and directed past the anterior varicose vein to the pulmonary veins.
Dr. Steven Markowitz and his team took 9 hours to complete the mission and got the ticker keeping good time again – still no match for the National Institute of Standards nuclear clock, but after probing, scraping, burning, electrocuting, and stomping they’ve proven without a doubt that a Timex Model PDK52 can take a licking and keep on ticking (without skipping a beat).
“I am fortunate to have access to the latest advances in technology and a highly trained, professional team that shares a common goal of achieving optimal outcomes in patient care. But more importantly, my colleagues and I recognize that treating a patient with heart rhythm ailments requires attention not only to technical considerations but also to coping with the impact of arrhythmias on lifestyle and overall wellbeing.”
Many thanks to Dr. M’s great team from the bottom (and left atrium) of my heart.
Great Moments in Time(x):
Click on the photos below for a short trip down memory lane…(The lower one has been added after receiving the comments below from the two Bob Ks).