Tens of Thousands of Heart Patients May Not Need Open-Heart Surgery

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With TAVR, the only incision is a small hole in the groin where a catheter is inserted. Traditional surgery involves cracking open the ribs and stopping the heart to insert the new valve.CreditJean-Paul Chassenet/Science Source
The operation is a daring one: To replace a failing heart valve, cardiologists insert a mechanical replacement through a patient’s groin and thread it all the way to the heart, maneuvering it into the site of the old valve.The procedure, called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), has been reserved mostly for patients so old and sick they might not survive open-heart surgery. Now, two large clinical trials show that TAVR is just as useful in younger, healthier patients.

It might even be better, offering lower risks of disabling strokes and death, compared to open-heart surgery. Cardiologists say it will likely change the standard of care for most patients with failing aortic valves.

“Is it important? Heck, yes,” said Dr. Robert Lederman, who directs the interventional cardiology research program at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The findings “were remarkable,” he added.

Dr. Lederman was not involved with the studies and does not consult for the two device companies that sponsored them.


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This article and images were originally posted on [NYT > Science]. Credit to the original author and NYT > Science | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day

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