Doctors pioneer heart surgery breakthrough

Professor Ian Meredith

(Medical Xpress) -- The first trial of a treatment allowing doctors to insert a fully repositionable replacement heart valve without the need for open-heart surgery has been successfully conducted at a Melbourne hospital.

Doctors at the Monash Medical Centre heart unit, known as MonashHeart, saved the lives of 11 who were suffering from aortic stenosis, the degrading and narrowing of the main heart valve.

A team of and surgeons, led by MonashHeart director Professor Ian , inserted a replacement heart valve, on the end of a wire, through a small hole in the groin of the women, who were too frail to undergo the invasive open-heart surgery often given to younger patients with the condition.

Dubbed a ‘lotus valve’, the valve opens up like a flower once inside the heart, and can be easily repositioned. The trial, which reported a 100 per cent success rate, promises to help save the lives of senior patients around the world.

Professor Meredith, from the Department of Medicine at Monash University, said the prognosis for elderly patients was usually about the same as people with advanced forms of cancer.

"When you have severe aortic valve narrowing and you become breathless as a consequence of that, more than half the people won't survive 12 months," Professor Meredith said.

"Only about a third will survive up to two years."

Professor Meredith said he would now lead a wider, international trial of the lotus heart valve device.

"This will have a significant impact on all around the world because this is a very common problem in the elderly," Professor Meredith said.

Sixteen facilities in four countries will take part in the new trial.

The Monash Medical Centre is part the Department of Medicine at Monash University. Established in 2007, MonashHeart is an amalgamation of the former Departments of Cardiology of Monash Medical Centre, Clayton and Dandenong Hospital.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Major discovery in the treatment of aortic valve stenosis

Apr 18, 2008

A team of scientists from the Université de Montréal and the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre, led by Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, has completed an important study that show how a new type of medication can lead to an ...

Recommended for you

Do heart patients fare better when doctors away?

6 hours ago

Doctors joke that if you're going to have a heart attack, the safest place would be at a big national gathering of heart specialists. But a new study suggests some older hospitalized heart patients may fare better when these ...

Survival rates higher in obese heart failure patients

6 hours ago

Patients who were obese before developing heart failure lived longer than normal weight patients with the same condition according to a new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that e ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.