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THE BAYTOWN SUN Thursday, December 2, 19*2 7-C Pigs' Heart Valves Used In Surgery HUGHSON, Calif. CAP) — One little piggy went to market. One little piggy stayed home. And one little piggy do- hated a heart valve lor human surgery. ^Actually, Bill Macedo Jr. makes sure most of his pigs donate their heart valves for human implantation. t .The Stanislaus County farmer raises or slaughters 12,000 to 15,000 pigs a year under the cleanest conditions possible, to guarantee the value of the aortic v.alve. .. Macedo's pigs and thousands from other ranchers are killed at his ranch for ship- ment to retailers in San Francisco's Chinatown for meat. But before they leave the ranch, a small piece of tissue that regulates blood flow from the heart to the arteries is carefully trimmed away. "They can take the heart valve, then clean off the muscle fibers and it is purely connective tissues of the valve that is transplanted," explained Dr. Everett Johnson, a Turlock physician. With time a critical factor, the valve is packed in a saline solution for shipment to a laboratory in southern California. It must reach the lab within 72 hours to be of any use, the 45- year-old rancher said. "After the valve is cleaned and sterilized, it's packaged in a vacuum-^type container and put on a shelf and kept until needed," Johnson said. He noted a similarity between porcine and human blood- pumping organs. "The pig's heart and the human heart are very much alike," Johnson said. "Their digestive track is a lot like ours." About 90 percent of the pig valves are usable. The remainder are discarded because of damage or disease. The pigs are fed a high-protein grain diet to keep both their meat and valves useful. The valve business represents less than half of Macedo's income, but his product can mean life or death for patients in need of a new valve. Leonard Ellefson, a 67-year-old Turlock pharmacist, has been living with the aid of a pig valve for eight years. A synthetic valve had to be replaced after several years when he suffered a series of small strokes. "I had to go through several years in a terminal situation," he recalled. At one time, he required ready access to oxygen and stuck to a salt-free diet. The natural valve gave him more freedom than the original substitute for his ailing heart. He now does 100 pushups daily and rides an exercise bicycle. "When they use the pig valve, if they are very careful to clean off the muscle, it does not , give any more trouble than a human valve," Johnson said. "And it's much better to be able to go into the shelf to get the right size. You don't have to wait until someone dies." Surgeons measure a patient's valve size during surgery and trim one to fit before suturing it in place, he said. The pig valve can replace both the aortic and mitral valves in humans. The rejection rate is similar to that involved with a human valve transplant, Johnson said. Macedo has a pretty good idea of how valuable his pig valves can be to heart patients. He suffered a massive heart attack three years ago, and his farm schedule was partly to blame. Luckily, he didn't require the kind of surgery that his farm makes possible. jRapid Growth Is Giving Seoul A New Look t SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — When Jhe 1950-53 Korean Jvar broke out there jvere two bridges bver the Han River in Seoul, one for vehicles and pe- clestrians and the 5'ther for trains. The fi rst was destroyed quickly, and the second damaged and put out of operation. ^ Today there are 17 bridges spanning the broad river in the South Korean capital, four' of them for rail services. Four more jire under construction, and another four on the drawing boards. Thn> bridges over the River Han provide a graphic illustration of the growth of a city that throughout its history has been subjected to invasions and war. It was devastated during the Korean conflict, changing hands three times during the course of the bitter fighting. Located only 25 miles from the demilitarized zone that separates South Korea from the hostile north, Seoul continues its headlong growth, now spurred in part in its development by selection of the city as the site for the 1986 Asian games and the 1988 Olympics. A recent United Nations' demographic report listed Seoul as the world's fourth most populous city, behind only Shanghai, Mexico City and Tokyo in size. That report put the population of Seoul at 8,366,756. City officials said their latest official count came to 8,676,037, but that tally was made in October 1981, and no estimate was available of the current total. Five years ago Seoul's population was 7.2 million, and the projection for five years from now is 9.5 million. As part of the effort to slow the city's growth, the cabinet of president Chun Doo- hwan recently adopted a draft law that divides the capital zone into five areas for carrying out a policy of decentralization. In Seoul, established as the nation's capital a century before Columbus discovered America, construction has gone on at a dizzying pace, despite a lingering recession. Old buildings are tumbled to make way for new, tures. Miles of subway construction throughout the city have turned many streets into corridors of noise and a maze of traffic tieups. Traffic patterns are complicated. Motorists are not noted for their lane discipline, nor pedestrians for their observance of walk regulations. The search for parking space is often an endless quest. Services of a driver are a necessary way of life, not a luxury. 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