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Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa has a bi-ventricular pacemaker defibrillator implanted

Houston, TX - 2/29/2008

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Polish president Lech Walesa had a bi-ventricular pacemaker defibrillator successfully implanted Friday, Feb. 29, 2008, at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston. Dr. Miguel Valderrabano, chief of the division of cardiac electrophysiology at Methodist, implanted the device.

“The pacemaker defibrillator is designed to resynchronize the contractions of his heart and improve the function of his heart,” said Dr. Valderrabano. “We expect that the pacemaker, combined with the other treatments Mr. Walesa has received at Methodist this week, may lead to a very substantial improvement in how he feels, even to the point of normalization of his heart function. We hope that the treatment here will help him get back to his busy and productive life.”

In a two-hour procedure, Dr. Valderrabano made a 1½ inch incision and attached three lead wires to the heart through tiny veins. Once the wires were successfully attached to the heart, he connected them to the device and placed the device into a small pocket in the chest cavity.

The procedure was done under general anesthesia by Dr. Zbigniew Wojciechowski, vice chair of the department of anesthesiology at Methodist. Mr. Walesa tolerated the procedure very well and is now resting comfortably in his hospital room.

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