New Heart Valve Treatment

Transcatheter heart valve

Leaders of University of Iowa Heart and Vascular Center announced on December 13 that their heart valve team will soon be the first in the state to offer a new, cutting-edge treatment for seriously ill patients affected by severe heart valve problems.

The new technology uses a catheter inserted through a small incision in a patient’s thigh that travels through blood vessels and can be used to replace a person’s failing heart valve in the aortic artery.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the treatment, called the SAPIEN percutaneous heart valve replacement, manufactured by Edwards LifeSciences.

The technology is reserved for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are considered too high risk for traditional forms of heart valve replacement surgery, or were previously considered inoperable.

In October, UI Heart and Vascular Center became the first program in the nation to receive certification for its cardiac valve program from The Joint Commission, the accreditation agency for health care organizations in the United States.

In addition to the new transcatheter procedure, the center’s heart valve clinic, established more than three years ago, offers minimally invasive surgery for heart valve repair and replacement.

The UI Heart and Vascular Center team plans to complete the training for the new treatment late in December and to begin treating patients early in 2012.

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