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Heart Hospital of Austin Opens Heart Valve Clinic, Among First Sites in U.S. to Receive New Trans-Catheter Aortic Valve Replacement Technology Since FDA Approval
Date:1/24/2012

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On January 24, Heart Hospital of Austin opened a Heart Valve Clinic, the first of its kind in the region. The clinic gives new hope to patients with severe aortic stenosis who were previously considered "inoperable," delivering a multidisciplinary approach to evaluating such cases. Additionally, interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at the clinic will collaboratively identify patients who may be eligible for a new, catheter-based valve replacement procedure, known as trans-catheter aortic valve replacement, instead of traditional, open-chest procedures. Heart Hospital of Austin is among the first sites in the nation to receive this trans-catheter aortic valve replacement technology since it was approved by the FDA in November 2011.

"This is truly a collaborative approach to valve replacement that will provide another option for patients who are not candidates for open-chest surgery due to advanced age, or because they are too ill or suffering from additional medical conditions," Faraz Kerendi, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons who practices at Heart Hospital of Austin, said. "Prior to this procedure, such patients were classified as inoperable and had no treatment options. They were often given only months to live."

Severe aortic stenosis is a condition in which the opening of the aortic valve—which is located between the main pumping chamber of the heart, or left ventricle, and the aorta—becomes narrow, restricting blood flow from the heart.

"Over time, the valve can become calcified, preventing it from opening and releasing the blood properly," Juhana Karha, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Heart Hospital of Austin and with Austin Heart, said. "Open-chest surgery is the traditional treatment method for this condition, but catheter-based valve replacement gives hope to patients who cannot undergo surgery for a variety of reasons.
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SOURCE Heart Hospital of Austin
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