New heart valve replacement surgery utilized at TidalHealth

By Tim Mastro
Posted 1/27/22

TidalHealth recently became the first hospital system on the Delmarva Peninsula to perform a Valve in Valve Trans-Catheter Mitral Valve Replacement, a revolutionary new …

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New heart valve replacement surgery utilized at TidalHealth

Posted

TidalHealth recently became the first hospital system on the Delmarva Peninsula to perform a Valve in Valve Trans-Catheter Mitral Valve Replacement, a revolutionary new procedure.

ViV TMVR is being performed at the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute at TidalHealth Peninsula Regional in Salisbury, Maryland. It’s a minimally invasive option for those patients who doctors feel are not good candidates for a second traditional mitral valve replacement by open surgery.

The mitral valve, one of four in the heart that help stop blood from flowing backward, can be replaced by surgeons. But if the new valve becomes diseased, a second operation can be too risky for some patients.

“Our patient was out of options short of this procedure, which made being able to offer it a life-saving solution,” said Dr. James Todd,cardiovascular surgeon with TidalHealth Cardiovascular Surgery. “It’s remarkable to see the rapid improvement from where he was before the ViV TMVR procedure to where he is now in his recovery.”

TidalHealth’s structural heath team uses the ViV TMVR technology to place the new valve inside the damaged one without taking it out of the body. Once it reaches the heart, the new valve is positioned and opened inside the old one.

The expansion pushes the thin flaps of tissue, known as leaflets, from the malfunctioning valve out of the way and allowing the leaflets of the new valve to open and close properly, ensuring correct and sufficient blood flow.

How the mitral valve gets there is what makes this such a beneficial option for patients who qualify, TidalHealth officials said. A cardiac surgeon and an interventional cardiologist work together to deliver the valve through a vein in the groin. It’s threaded up into the heart without opening the chest, eliminating the pain, discomfort and risk of a regular open-heart operation.

Only about 600 ViV TMVR procedures are performed globally each year.

“Being the first on Delmarva to perform this procedure shows the commitment of TidalHealth and the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute to bring innovative and the most up-to-date technology and treatment to our patients,” said Dr. Steven Hearne, interventional cardiologist and executive medical director of the TidalHealth Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute.

The mitral valve may need to be replaced if it does not close tightly, which would prevent the backward flow of blood. The heart then would not be able to pump enough oxygen rich blood to the body. That can cause fatigue, shortness of breath and heart failure.

ViV TMVR is not recommended for everyone with mitral valve disease. Consultation with a cardiologist and cardiac surgeon can best determine a patient’s suitability for the procedure.