Debakey VA Medical Center is first to implant new innovative heart valve
The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is the first VA center to make use of an innovative new heart valve that was recently approved by the FDA.
The Sapien heart valve is not installed through open heart surgery but with a catheter. This benefits patients with inoperable aortic valve stenosis disease. Veteran Cottrell McGowan recently received the new valve on Dec. 21.
"In addition to his advanced age, Mr. McGowan had chronic lung and renal disease, and a heavily calcified aorta so he was not a candidate for open surgery," Biswajit Kar, M.D., said in a press release.
Valve stenosis is an age-related disease that is caused by the buildup of calcium deposits that cause the valve to narrow and stiffen making the heart work harder to pump blood. It affects about 30,000 Americans.
The Sapien valve is made of bovine tissue and stainless steel. It is placed in the heart by way of the femoral artery. Patients who receive the new valve usually stay in the hospital for three days before being released.
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