A double-D breast implant has saved the life of a vaper of 10 years who suffered serious lung damage.
Doctors used the implants to hold David ‘Davey’ Bauer’s heart in place while he was kept on artifical lung for two days ahead of a double transplant.
Bauer, a 34-year-old former landscaper, turned to vaping as he thought it would be a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes.
The Northwestern University School of Medicine stepped in to help after the lungs stopped functioning due to the excessive habit.
In April, Bauer, from Missouri, was diagnosed with flu and later developed an antibiotic-resistant infection.
He was told he would not make it unless a double transplant was carried out.
Under ordinary circumstances, Bauer’s influenza diagnosis would have rendered him too weak to take a lung transplant.
Northwestern, however, pioneered the use of ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, an invasive device that pumps blood to an artificial lung outside the body and back in.
ECMO was perfected by the Chicago university during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Bauer’s case was getting progressively worse — he’d developed a nasty lung infection while on ECMO, to the point that his lungs were actually liquefying.
So, Dr. Ankit Bharat, chief of thoracic surgery at Northwestern, came up with a unique solution: Double D-sized breast implants.
Often associated with breast augmentation procedures for vanity purposes, the Double D-sized implants were placed around Bauer’s heart for two days to keep the organ in place while doctors treated the secondary infection enough to faciliate the double-lung transplant.
Bauer survived the procedure, and got a new set of lungs in the process.
“I’m so grateful to be alive and know I wouldn’t be here today without the support of my girlfriend, family, friends and my Northwestern Medicine transplant team who never gave up on me,” he said in a statement provided by the hospital.
But Bauer also said that his nasty vaping habit got him into the mess in the first place, and he strongly advises men and women to avoid getting hooked.
“If I could go back in time, I never would have picked up a cigarette or vape pen,” Bauer said, “and I hope my story can help encourage others to quit, because I wouldn’t wish this difficult journey on anyone.”