Morton Plant Hospital in the US state of Florida has performed the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement surgery (TAVR) in the Tampa Bay area.
The TAVR procedure, a treatment for severe aortic stenosis, is used for patients who were previously considered inoperable.
In the procedure, the replacement valve is passed through a hole in the groin by a puncture of the femoral artery and advanced up to the ascending aorta of the patient.
Patients do not undergo cardiopulmonary bypass or experience a large incision in the chest, hospital officials said.
Cardiothoracic surgeon and Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic team member Joshua Rovin said, "The TAVR procedure is a breakthrough in the treatment of patients with severe aortic stenosis. It brings a treatment option to patients where one previously did not exist."
Another Valve Clinic team member, interventional cardiologist Lang Lin, commented: "In its severe form, aortic stenosis can be extremely limiting for a patient to the point of hindering their ability to perform daily activities. Ultimately our goal is to help patients regain function and hopefully return to the activities they once enjoyed."
Aortic stenosis is a disease process that affects the aortic valve. In late stages of the disease, the valve does not properly open and close, causing the heart to work harder and eventually weaken.
Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility which features centres of excellence in heart, cancer, neurosciences and orthopedics.