Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (TMR) Explained
TMR is an alternative surgical treatment for coronary artery disease. It is utilized when conventional treatment options are not possible. Specifically it is used in patients who are failing medical management, who are not candidates for stents, and who have surgically non-reconstrucable coronary artery disease. In essence, this is a last ditch treatment used when preferred methods have no chance of success.
With TMR, a laser is used to “bore” holes in the muscle of the heart. The theory is that blood will then percolate from the hearts chamber into the muscle much like a reptile supplies the heart muscle with blood.
TMR has been shown to provide the heart temporary relief from angina or chest pain in patients with intractable pain and in some reports it has been liked to increased survival.
TMR is performed both through standard chest incisions (frequently as and adjunct to CABG), and also minimally invasively, with the DaVinci Robot.