Medtronic Inc. has been testing a nonsurgical way of repairing heart valves and the results from the new procedure are showing a higher survival rate than open heart surgery.
Instead of performing dangerous open heart surgery the study testing an artificial valve from Medtronic Inc. that can be placed through a catheter. After one year, 19 percent of the surgery patients but only 14 percent of those given the catheter valve had died.
The new study gives a boost to fixing a bad aortic valve, the heart’s main gate, without open heart surgery. Survival rates were astonishingly better one year later for people who had a new valve placed through a tube into an artery instead.
Several hundred thousand Americans have bad aortic valves, which can stiffen and narrow with age and not let blood through as they should. The only solution used to be open heart surgery to replace one.
The results were reported Saturday at an American College of Cardiology conference in Washington.
The Fortune 500 company Medtronic is based out of Fridley, Minnesota and is the fourth largest medical device company in the world.
Medtronic’s mission statement from its co-founder Earl Bakken: To contribute to human welfare by application of biomedical engineering in the research, design, manufacture, and sale of instruments or appliances that alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life.
Traditional open heart surgery to repair the aortic valve is very dangerous, because surgeons have to open up the patients chest and hook them up to a heart-lung bypass machine, which does the work of the heart while the heart is stopped.
The risks of infection from the incision are very high after the surgery, along with increased risk for blood clots developing, heart rhythm problems, kidney failure, and chest pains that can last for up to six months.
This new study is showing promising signs that nonsurgical heart valve repair may help to save a lot of lives and reduce the risks associated with open heart surgery.
Medtronic Nonsurgical Heart Valve Repair Shows Promising Signs.