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Good Marks for Heart Valve Procedure

Non-surgical technique for patients who may not survive surgery.

Less than a week ago, WTAJ Your News Leader, told you about research involving a treatment for damaged heart valves. Now,  a new study in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association assesses how well that procedure works.

When a heart valve that's been replaced, fails, many patients can be treated with medications or undergo another surgery to replace the damaged valve. Those who are older and have other serious illnesses, may not be able to survive another surgery.
 
Researchers studied 459 patients who underwent the valve-in-valve procedure at 55 centers around the world. This involves attaching the new valve to a catheter which travels up an artery and is positioned inside the failed valve. The device is inflated and the new valve replaces the failed one.

Doctors performed this procedure in patients who weren't good candidates for repeat surgery, either due to their age or other medical issues.
 
Dr. Danny Dvir from St. Paul’s Hospital In Vancouver, Canada led the study. He said, "in this very high risk group of patients the survival within one year was very good, it was 83 percent."
 
According to Dr. Dvir,  7 percent of patients died within a month and fewer than 2 percent had a stroke. In the patients that survived the procedure, 93 percent felt very well.
 
Researchers also found that patients with smaller failed valves didn't do as well as those with larger valves.

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