Orlando Health to replace heart valves without surgery
Posted on August 16, 2012 by Michael Schmidt
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 12, 2012) — Doctors at the Orlando Health Heart Institute have found a new pathway to a patient’s heart valve. In May, cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons will begin using the first artificial heart valve approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to replace a narrowed heart valve going through a leg artery instead of a traditional open heart surgery.
The new device and procedure is an option for some patients with aortic valve stenosis – an age-related heart disease caused when calcium deposits cause the aortic valve to narrow. The narrowing forces the heart to work harder to pump enough blood through the smaller opening, leading to heart failure, irregular heart rhythms, heart attack and other heart problems.
“For most patients, once symptoms from aortic stenosis develop, death occurs within a couple of years,” said Deepak Vivek, MD, director, Orlando Health Heart Institute Heart Valve Center. “Open heart surgery is too risky for some patients. Having an alternative to save lives and improve the quality of lives is a vital to caring for patients with heart disease – which remains the leading cause of death for men and women in our country.”
The artificial valve, called the Sapien THV and manufactured by Edwards Lifesciences, is made of cow heart tissue and a polyethylene skirt and is supported with a stainless steel mesh frame. To replace the diseased valve, the artificial valve is delivered through a catheter, inserted through a small cut in the leg. The new valve is released from the catheter, expanded with a balloon and is immediately functional.
“Offering patients this innovative new device through a less invasive approach is part of our ongoing efforts to provide effective treatment options to patients who cannot undergo a traditional open heart surgery to replace a valve,” said Arnold Einhorn, MD, Co-Medical Director, Orlando Health Heart Institute. “This artificial valve may also be an answer for those patients.”
The Heart Institute’s Valve Center is part of our new model of care that puts the patient first by promoting seamless coordination of all aspects of the patient experience, is made up of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, radiologists, anesthesiologists and other clinicians who work together to evaluate options to treat high-risk patients with aortic stenosis.