by Lynn Shapiro
, Writer | September 03, 2009
How the Valve Works
The valve is made of bovine pericardial tissue (from the pericardial sac) and this tissue is formed into leaflets. The valve is hand-sewn onto a metal frame and is implanted via one of two catheter-based methods--either navigated to the heart from the femoral artery in the patient's leg, or through a small incision between the ribs and into the left ventricle.
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The valve is then positioned inside the patient's existing valve, using a balloon to deploy the frame, which holds it in place. Both the femoral artery or rib procedures are performed on a beating heart.
Annually, some 200,000 people in the U.S. need a new heart valve, but nearly half of them do not receive it for a variety of reasons. For example, some patients are too ill to survive open-heart surgery. The transcatheter procedure takes about 90 minutes, compared with four to six hours for open-heart surgery.
For more DOTmed coverage on Edwards read:
Doctors Replace Valve Without Open Heart Surgery
Edwards Lifesciences Reports Positive Data from its Transcatheter Valve
Edwards Transcatheter Heart Valve Trial Reaches Full Non-Surgical Enrollment
Edwards' Earnings More Than Triple Due to Catheter-based Valve
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