Features June 2011 Issue

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Scores Well in Trial

Research supports the continued development of the minimally invasive approach to replacing the largest of the heart valves.

When the aortic valve starts to function poorly, to the point where it needs to be replaced, patients undergo major open heart surgery to receive a new valve. Itís an invasive procedure with a long recovery time and the typical risks that accompany any major operation. But a less-invasive method that uses a catheter to deliver a new valve to the heart may soon provide alternatives for physicians and patients. A study presented at the American College of Cardiology conference in April found that the mortality rates after one year were nearly identical for patients who had traditional open surgery for aortic valve replacement and those who underwent transcatheter-valve implantation.

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