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New research indicates more patients with faulty heart valves can avoid open-heart surgery

Posted Monday, April 1, 2019 by Tyler Goldberg-Hoss

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published results of a study which found that many more patients with aortic heart valve problems can avoid open-heart surgery and replace the valves through a less invasive procedure.

For years, patients who had damaged heart valves needed major surgery to replace them. This means opening up the chest cavity, putting patients on bypass (a machine pumps blood and breathes for them while the surgery is going on), and replacing the valve surgically.

About 10 years ago, an expandable valve was designed for patients who were too sick to undergo such a major surgery – the valve is placed using a catheter into an artery instead.

Now, researchers apparently have concluded that this method can also be used for patients who are not at high risk – all patients can use this method to avoid the trauma of open heart surgery.

In particular, the study found using this expandable heart valve led to fewer deaths and strokes, and less cost.

More research is being conducted to see whether this catheter-based approach might work for other types of heart valves.

You can read more here:

Tens of Thousands of Heart Patients May Not Need Open-Heart Surgery

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