Door opens for open heart surgery alternatives


National News

March 19, 2019 - 10:06 AM

Photo illustration of a catheter insertion into the heart. In a study announced at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans, patients who had a replacement heart valve, which was inserted into the aorta with a catheter, were less likely to die or have a stroke than those who underwent surgery. DREAMTIME/TNS

Promising new studies on a type of artificial heart valve could pave the way for it to be used in many more patients, allowing them to avoid the rigors of open-heart surgery.

Compared with those who underwent surgery, patients who got the device were less likely to die or suffer a stroke after the procedure, researchers announced Sunday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.

One of the studies, whose authors included surgeons from Penn Medicine and the Lankenau Heart Institute at Main Line Health, has followed its patients for one year. The other, in which patients received a replacement valve made by a different manufacturer, has lasted for two years.

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