Transcatheter therapies can offer patients that are suffering from severe aortic and mitral valve disease, new options for treatment. Transcatheter therapies are minimally invasive techniques that allow the surgeon to repair or treat the heart, or areas surrounding the heart, which may help patients at high risk of morbidity and mortality with open heart surgery. An incision in the groin is made to insert a catheter into the vein to reach the affected area. This allows the surgeon to treat or repair the damage.
- Aortic Disease- A condition that affects the aorta. The aorta, the largest artery, is the blood vessel that transports oxygen-rich blood from the heart throughout the body.
- Aneurysm- An aneurysm occurs when the wall of the aorta weakens and causes the wall to expand. Aneurysms can happen throughout the aorta.
- Mitral Regurgitation- Blood should flow in one direction from the ventricle through the aortic valve. Mitral regurgitation occurs when some blood leaks back through the mitral valve, causing increased blood volume and higher blood pressure in that area. In severe cases fluid can buildup in the lungs. Mitral regurgitation can raise the risk of irregular heartbeats, stroke and heart failure.
Treatments and Procedures
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) – Traditionally, repair or replacement of heart valves has involved open-heart surgery but for some patients traditional treatments may not be an option. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, is an advanced minimally invasive alternative treatment option for some cases of aortic valve stenosis.
- Percutaneous Repair of the Mitral Valve (Mitraclip) – Mitral regurgitation is a debilitating, progressive and life-threatening disease in which a leaky mitral valve causes a backward flow of blood into the heart. Medications for mitral regurgitation only assist with symptom management and do not stop the progression of the disease. The MitraClip device is a minimally invasive transcatheter therapy to repair the mitral valve, rather than replacing it which typically involves open heart mitral valve surgery.
- WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device – When a bold clot develops in the heart of a patient with atrial fibrillation (AFib), it is most often found within the left atrial appendage. The left atrial appendage is a small pouch that empties blood into the atrium, one of the upper chambers of the heart, by pumping with the rest of the left atrium. When the left appendage does not pump regularly, the blood in the pouch can form clots which may be pumped out and can travel to the brain, which could cause a stroke. A stroke can be caused by other factors as well including high blood pressure and narrowing of the blood vessels to the brain.
Treatment can involve the use of the WATCHMAN Device which acts as a barrier to prevent blood clots from entering the bloodstream. The closure prevents harmful blood clots, due to AFib, from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke.
AFib patients have a five times greater risk of stroke and typically have to take a long-term blood-thinning drug with potentially serious side effects. After a successful procedure, patients will be able to stop taking the blood-thinning drug.
- Abdominal Aortic and Thoracic Aneurysm Endograft Treatments – The abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysm endograft is developed to treat patients who have a bulge caused by the weakening of the walls of the aorta. Endograft repairs are a minimally invasive approach that inserts a stent graft, a mesh tube, to reinforce the area weakened by the aneurysm, often shrinking the bulge and preventing the aneurysm from bursting.
- Percutaneous Ventricular Assist Device – A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a mechanical device used to take over the pumping function for one or both of the heart’s ventricles, or pumping chambers. A VAD may be necessary when heart failure progresses to the point that medications and other treatments are no longer effective. Percutaneous Ventricular Assist Devices are used in patients undergoing high risk angioplasty and also in patients who have acute myocardial infarction, heart attack, to support the heart and allow the heart to heal.