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CLEVELAND – University Hospitals cardiologist Marco Costa isn’t much of a TV watcher, so he didn’t recognize “McDreamy” — actor Patrick Dempsey — when he ran into him on the Los Angeles set of Grey’s Anatomy. But Costa was invited to the set to bring some authenticity to a scene with actress Sandra Oh for the Valentine’s Day episode that includes a heart procedure.

For years, Dr. Costa has been involved in the development and research of a device called “the parachute.” It is used to redirect blood flow in a heart that has been damaged by a heart attack. Approved for use in Europe, it is about to be tested across the U.S. in five hundred patients.

“There is a lot of innovation out there, but very few as transformational as the parachute in a heart,” said Dr. Costa.

The heart parachute addresses the incurable condition of heart failure, in which a portion of the heart muscle is “dead.” The rest of the heart works harder, enlarges and becomes stiff over time, trying to compensate for the imbalance as it continues pumping blood to the nonfunctioning portion of the heart muscle. By redirecting the blood flow, more normal heart function and shape can be restored, and a long list of side effects relieved. The device has won awards for innovation, and it is for that reason that it came to the attention of Grey’s Anatomy producers.

To read Dr. Costa’s experience on the set, click here:

Article Courtesy of WEWS NewsChannel 5
Picture Courtesy of University Hospitals and WEWS NewsChannel 5

LOCAL: University Hospitals Cardiologist Lends Some Advice on the Set of “Grey’s Anatomy”  was originally published on