Utilizing a new device made from the lining of a cow heart that was originally tested in pigs, elderly human patients are getting a new lease on life without any surgery!
The new procedure to fix aortic valve stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic heart valve, requires only light anesthesia and is designed for patients whose health is not stable enough for open heart surgery to replace the failing valve. Known as TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), doctors fold up the new valve into a catheter which is fed up to the heart via a blood vessel in the groin. When the new valve reaches the old they open it up like an umbrella, moving the old faulty valve aside and restoring blood flow. All this takes about an hour and the patient remains awake reducing not only complications of stopping the heart during regular valve replacement surgery but any ill effects of general anesthesia.
Let us thank our barnyard friends for this amazing research and treatment for our aging loved ones!