Texas Tech Department of Surgery Assistant Professor Dr. Amir Aryaie paved the way for the future of medicine in the South Plains by bringing a procedure to this region for the first time.
On May 5, Aryaie implanted a pace-maker in the diaphragm of a paralyzed patient allowing him to work toward getting off a ventilator and breathe for the first time on his own.
"This procedure helps patients who can't breathe on their own because of their trauma, specifically cervical injury and damage to their diaphragmatic nerves," Aryaie said.
By placing the patient on the machine, Dr. Aryaie said it helps to generate activity and allows the muscles to extend and contract. He added this specific patient has been on a ventilator for about six months.
"In the past three or four days he has had a significant improvement where majority of the day he was able to be off the ventilator and breathe on his own again," Aryaie said.
Aryaie said he learned how to perform the procedure from Dr. Raymond Onders, who performed the procedure for the second time on actor, Chris Reeves who played Superman in 1978.
"There wasn't anybody who was trained on this and I was lucky to be trained at one of the centers that offer this procedure, and having that training I was able to bring it here in Lubbock and now we are able to offer it,"
Aryaie's second procedure is scheduled for Thursday, May 11.