CINCINNATI, Ohio. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Each of us have four heart valves that keep our blood circulating in the right direction. If those valves don’t work properly, blood flow is restricted, which can lead to heart failure, blood clots, and stroke. For the first time in the U.S., surgeons have replaced three ailing heart valves in one minimally invasive procedure. Triple Valve Surgery
People with heart valve disease may have hardened or leaking valves, and feel fine, at first but, eventually, they may have shortness of breath, fatigue, lightheadedness, or even chest pains. Surgeons have used endoscopic procedures to repair one, or even two valves but, three has traditionally been an open procedure.
Cardiac surgeon, Dr. Tommaso Hinna Danesi explained, “It’s a major surgery, not only because of the central incision, but because we need a cardiopulmonary bypass, and we need to arrest the heart to work inside the heart.”
For the first time in the U.S., Dr. Hinna Danesi has operated on three valves through a one-inch incision, replacing a patient’s aortic and mitral valves, and repairing her tricuspid valve. Doctors say the endoscopic approach reduced surgical time by as much as 50 percent and allowed them to keep the patients’ heart beating during surgery.
“If you think, to an elderly and fragile patient, more gentle surgical access might be the difference between being alive or dead from an operation. So, it’s a big advantage,” said Dr. Hinna Danesi.
Sixty-three-year-old Karyn Russell was a recent patient and was discharged from the hospital a week after surgery. Russell is a grandmother and special education teacher and has since returned to the classroom.
Heart valve disease can have a congenital cause or can be caused by infection or degeneration over time.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.
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TOPIC: FIRST IN THE U.S.: MINIMALLY INVASIVE TRIPLE VALVE SURGERY
REPORT: MB #5033
BACKGROUND: In heart valve disease, one or more of the valves in your heart don’t work properly. Your heart has four valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction. In some cases, one or more of the valves don’t open or close properly. This can cause the blood flow through your heart to your body to be disrupted. Your heart valve disease treatment depends on the heart valve affected and the type and severity of the disease. Sometimes heart valve disease requires surgery to repair or replace the heart valve.
DIAGNOSING: Heart valve disease may be present without symptoms and some people live their entire lives with a heart valve problem and never know it. If symptoms present, they may not correlate to the severity of your condition, and you may have severe symptoms but have a minor valve problem or you may have no symptoms and need prompt intervention. It is important to see a doctor if you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness, fainting or passing out, chest pain, heart palpitations,
swelling in the ankles, feet, or stomach, sudden weight gain, fatigue, abdominal pain and decreased appetite.
NEW STUDY: Researchers from the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network launched a multi-year randomized clinical trial with 401 patients being treated for worsening mitral valve regurgitation with mild to moderate tricuspid regurgitation. The surgical procedures took place at 39 medical centers in the United States, Canada and Germany. Researchers found that among patients who had the combined mitral valve and tricuspid valve repair, just three-point-nine percent developed severe regurgitation, died, or needed a reoperation, compared to 10.2 percent who had the mitral valve surgery alone. Researchers observed no significant differences between patient groups in the number of major cardiovascular events, changes in functional status, or quality of life, but 14.1 percent of patients who had the surgery and tricuspid annuloplasty needed a permanent pacemaker, compared to two-point-five percent who had the surgery alone.
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