Valve Replacement

Valve replacement via catheterization: Now more accurate!

Kaplan Medical Center heart surgeons performed two valve implantations via catheterization instead of open heart surgery, employing a new generation valve that can be repositioned. This performance to reposition the valve tackles one of the problematic issues related to valve implantation in the cath lab-valvular regurgitation, that occurs in 5-10 percent of the cases.

Transcutaneous valvular implantation has been performed in Israel for the last 6 years in 2,000 patients so far. It has entered the ‘health basket’ for patients over the age of 80 that cannot withstand open heart surgery to replace the valve. However, more and more younger patients wish to avoid open heart surgery.

valveThe new valve is called Lotus and is made by Boston Scientific. Last week it was implanted, for the first time in Israel, in the hearts of two patients, one of them aged 92 under the watchful eyes of foreign experts.

“The position of the implanted valve was not ideal , and via the groin access site we repositioned the valve until reaching its optimal location.  This important flexibility property may change the whole strategy of treating these patients and now, pending further data, I may offer it to younger population, says Professor Kobi George, Director of the Heart Center, Kaplan Medical Center.

This is indeed a ‘breakthrough’. It is the ‘pinnacle’ of an interventional cardiologist. Being able to position and test the valve with echo in its final place and still if this is not optimal, retrieve it and re-implant it until reaching the best position, said prof. George.

Up till now the valve technologies allowed a ‘one shot’ attempt to place the valve and a less than optimal positioned would not be correctable without converting to surgery, that in these patient is extremely life threatening. Once we have this tool at hand we may approach large populations of patients not desiring surgery yet with lower risk pending further validation of the outcome of these procedures, says Prof. George.