Features June 2012 Issue

Non-surgical Valve Replacement May Be Better Than Standard Therapy

Patients too sick for surgery can benefit from a catheter-based procedure.

Patients diagnosed with aortic stenosis, but who are too sick for open surgery, may find that the best course of action is catheter-based aortic valve replacement. New research, published in the May 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, found that these patients have better survival rates and an improved quality of life after undergoing the minimally invasive valve procedure than similar patients who are treated with standard medical therapy.

Though this latest study, which involved 358 patients at 21 medical centers, reaffirms what earlier research has established, Cleveland Clinic cardiac surgeon Marc Gillinov, MD, says it serves an important role in the growing acceptance of less-invasive heart procedures.

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