Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
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A 55-year-old Breaux Bridge man is the first in Louisiana, and one of the few worldwide, to go through something rare when it comes to a treatment for heart failure.

Ray Pitre was told he was in cardiac failure and needed a heart transplant. So while he was waiting, cardiologists at Ochsner implanted a special blood pump called a VAD (Ventricular Assist Device) to help take over for his failing heart.

The pump is inside his body and the controller box is outside of his body. It is run on battery power or plugged in to an electrical socket. Only 10,000 of these devices have been implanted around the world. But even more rare is that only around one percent of people have a heart that heals enough for the VAD to be taken out. That's exactly what happened to Pitre when he became the state's first to be explanted. Even though is heart is not fully recovered, he is doing well for now and does not need a transplant. Ochsner has been implanting the VAD since 1990. Dr. Gene Parrino was the surgeon on this case.


How would you like to diet just two days a week and lose more weight than those who diet everyday? Well a new study out of England, found that women who ate a Mediterranean style diet of 1,500 calories every day, lost five pounds of body fat in four months. But women who ate 2,000 calories a day five days a week but then two days a week were strict, only eating 650 calories or 50 grams of carbohydrates with unlimited protein, lost nine pounds of body fat in four months. Also, more of those women stuck with the two-day diet longer term.


And finally, we all know that sun, smoking, alcohol and extra body fat accelerate skin aging. But now doctors are learning that high blood sugar levels can destroy the skin's collagen and elastin, the protein in the skin that allows it to keep it's firm shape. So for the best anti-aging of the skin, exercise, lower your weight, and eat less sugar and fewer white carbohydrates.

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