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Non-invasive double valve replacement procedure cuts recovery time for high-risk patients

June 27, 2016

Open-heart surgery to repair or replace valves can often be too great a risk for many patients despite the necessity of the procedure. Instead, these high-risk patients undergo a less-invasive valve-replacement procedure. Because of the delicacy of this operation, if more than one valve needs to be replaced, more than one surgery is usually required. However, this past April, Dr. Firas Zahr, from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Dr. Mohammad Bashir, a UIHC cardiothoracic surgeon, completed what they believe to be the first operation in which two valves were replaced.

The transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) entails wedging a new valve—transported to the site via catheter through the arteries—into place in the heart without removing the old valve altogether. Though TAVRs have been performed plenty of times before, Dr. Zahr and Dr. Bashir’s novel achievement lies in the successful replacement of both the aortic and mitral valves in a single procedure by entry through the femoral artery.

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