Henry Ford Hospital hits new heart valve surgery milestone

April 14, 2014, Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford is the only hospital in the United States performing the unique procedure called transcaval valve replacement, which accesses the heart by temporarily connecting major blood vessels. Credit: Henry Ford Health System

Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital reached a medical milestone April 3, performing the 25th successful transcatheter valve replacement using a novel way to access the heart.

Henry Ford is the only hospital in the United States performing the unique procedure called transcaval valve replacement, which accesses the by temporarily connecting major blood vessels.

Northern Michigan resident Viola Waller, 80, underwent Henry Ford's first transcaval procedure on July 3, 2013 when traditional valve replacement was not medically viable.

"Nobody could help me here," the mother of three, grandmother of five and great-grandmother of three said Thursday from her home in Charlevoix. "I'm doing great – I really am. If I hadn't had it done, I wouldn't have had a future. I'm very happy I had it done. And I think I got the best care possible."

William O'Neill, M.D., medical director of Henry Ford's Center for Structural Heart Disease, says the milestone brings a message of hope for other potential patients in Michigan and across the country.

"The success of this approach offers a new route for heart valve patients who may be out of options," Dr. O'Neill says, estimating this procedure could help 25,000 to 50,000 patients annually.

During transcaval , a wire is guided into a leg and up through the femoral vein. By gradual dilation, an opening between the vein and artery is then widened to the point of allowing a catheter to connect them, continue to the heart, and implant the new artificial aortic heart valve.

As the catheter is removed, plugs are inserted in the artery and the vein to close the holes made for the temporary connection of the two major blood vessels.

Robert Lederman, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, developed the transcaval technique in a research setting. He came to Henry Ford in July 2013 to observe the initial procedure and share his insights.

"It is a wonderful feeling to hear about this milestone for transcaval catheterization," says Lederman, who continues to visit Henry Ford monthly from his office at the National Institutes of Health, to work on pioneering cardiac research and consult during case conferences with Henry Ford physicians. "I remember watching the first successful transcaval operation at Henry Ford last year, and to know that two dozen more patients have now been successfully treated, with more on the horizon, is truly rewarding."

Dr. Adam Greenbaum, M.D., director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Henry Ford Hospital, led the team who performed the first procedure at Henry Ford. He worked alongside O'Neill , Henry Ford Interventional Cardiologist Mayra Guerrero, M.D. and Gaetano Paone, M.D., Division Head of Cardiac Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital.

Approximately 5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with heart valve disease annually. With an aging population that is often too frail for open-heart surgery, more than 20,000 Americans die of the disease each year, according to the American Heart Association.

Explore further: Henry Ford Hospital pioneers new cardiac approach

Related Stories

Henry Ford Hospital pioneers new cardiac approach

August 13, 2013
Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital have created a new route to the heart to implant an artificial heart valve by temporarily connecting major blood vessels that do not normally intersect.

Henry Ford Hospital cited: World's first surgical innovators for patient safety standards

April 7, 2014
An innovative kidney transplant technique developed by Henry Ford Hospital is credited as the first in the world to use a new set of patient safety standards coordinated by the University of Oxford in England.

Chest pain duration can signal heart attack

September 11, 2013
Patients with longer-lasting chest pain are more likely having a heart attack than those with pain of a shorter duration, according to a study by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

Head-to-head study favors balloon-expandable transcatheter heart valves

March 31, 2014
A first-ever randomized head-to-head comparison of two devices commonly used to treat the age-related disease aortic stenosis finds balloon-expandable transcatheter valves result in more successful procedures and relieve ...

UofL physicians, Jewish Hospital first in Kentucky to offer new aortic valve replacement

January 3, 2012
Some individuals with severe aortic stenosis – also known as narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart – who are not well enough to undergo open heart surgery have a new treatment option thanks to a new procedure ...

Recommended for you

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

0 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.