New Heart Procedure Saves More Lives

TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - A new technology in the medical field could mean more lives can be saved, especially when it comes to your heart. Promedica Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Michael Moront MD is the first in the country to implant a new heart valve that fixes the aortic valve. It's made from the lining of a cows heart.

"The leaflets are specially treated to avoid calcification. The leaflets are cut out of the pericardium with a laser and also where the sutures go to sew the valve to the frame are also drilled with a laser beam," says Moront.

Another major advantage is that the valve is easily replaced. "These valves tend to wear out in 10 to 20 years, especially in younger people," says Moront.

Using a new procedure called TAVR which stands for transcatheter aortic valve replacement, doctors can repair the aortic valve through a catheter inserted through the groin, and avoid the risks of open heart surgery.

"This is specifically set up to be a valve to have another valve put in it in time," says Moront.

Right now the new valve is just used for aortic valves, but it's being tested on the mitral valve. It also avoids the need for blood thinners in some patients.