New Valve for Old Hearts | Medical News and Health Information
New Valve for Old Hearts -- Research Summary
BACKGROUND: Defective heart valves are one of the most common causes of heart failure in the elderly. A defective heart valve is one that fails to open and close fully. A valve also may not be able to close completely, leading to regurgitation (blood leaking back through the valve). Usually people who have congenital heart valve defects may need treatment with drugs, but some have to undergo surgery. Surgery is not recommended for patients who are older or have other medical conditions (Source: www.heart.org).
TRADITIONAL TREATMENT: A median sternotomy is a type of surgical procedure in which a vertical inline incision is made along the sternum, after which the sternum itself is divided, or “cracked”. Breaking the sternum provides access to the heart and lungs for surgical procedures such as heart transplants and corrective surgery for defects including heart valve repair and heart valve replacement operations. ( Source: Heartvalvesuregry.com)
A LESS INVASIVE SOLUTION: Duke cardiologists can replace an old valve with a new pig valve delivered on the end of a catheter through a groin artery to the heart. Doctor J. Kevin Harrison explains how the new valve works. “It’s put in through a less traumatic surgery. We still make a small incision but it’s in the groin area to expose the artery and then the valve is inserted through a catheter. The catheter is larger than standard heart catheterization catheters, it’s about as big as the end of my pinky, and it goes through the blood vessels in the leg or through a blood vessel in the arm. It’s positioned across the abnormal valve. Rather than removing the valve, this catheter based valve is a stent that opens and pushes the old scarred valve out of the way. The minute that it pushes the old scarred valve out of the way, it has a valve sewn within the stent, which is really pig valve, similar to those surgeons have been using for years.” ( Source: Interview with Ivanhoe Broadcast News) MORE
New Valve for Old Hearts -- Research Summary | Medical News and Health Information
third step ►
New Valve for Old Hearts -- In Depth Doctor's Interview | Medical News and Health Information