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Diseased Heart Valve Replaced Through Small Chest Incision
Date:2/9/2009

New procedure prospective option for patients too frail for open-heart surgery

CHICAGO, Feb 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When 91-year-old Irvin Lafferty was diagnosed with severe blockage of his heart valve -- hardening that is formally known as aortic valve stenosis -- open-heart surgery was out of the question. He'd already survived quadruple bypass while in his 50s, and having lived almost a century, Lafferty wasn't a good candidate for heart surgery for many reasons. His local cardiologist referred him to surgical and interventional specialists at Chicago's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. And, on January 21, 2009, Lafferty became the first patient in Illinois to receive a prosthetic heart valve through a procedure known as transapical transcatheter aortic valve implantation, which combines catheterization technology and traditional surgery, allowing doctors to implant a new heart valve in place of Lafferty's diseased valve while his heart remained beating.

"Traditional open-heart surgery is a very safe and effective way to replace diseased heart valves, but for many patients bypass surgery is not a viable option," says Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, Northwestern Memorial's chief of cardiothoracic surgery and co-director of its Bluhm Institute and a Heller-Sacks professor of surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "By utilizing the percutaneous technique -- meaning surgery is not required -- we are able to greatly reduce risk for these patients. We see percutaneous valve repair as not only having a great impact upon how high-risk patients are treated, but in how heart valve disease is trea
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SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital
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