Advancements for valve replacement surgery

The heart is an intricate organ made up of many parts, making open heart surgery a common option when something goes wrong.

Open heart surgery is a serious medical procedure that can be the result of a number of causes. While it can be due to problems with the arteries and heart muscles itself, it is commonly because of issues with the valves of the organ.1 For instance, if one of the valves doesn't close completely, a patient may suffer regurgitation in the valve, which can cause serious problems.

Currently, open heart surgery is the only option doctors have when they are dealing with these common types of valve issues. However, The Wall Street Journal explains that researchers are looking for alternative methods of treatment.2 Surgical instruments are currently being tested by industry professionals as less invasive options to implant devices that are used in valve repair operations. The success of such equipment could limit the frequency in which open heart surgeries are performed.

While these pilot tests are just in the beginning stages, a number of medical device companies have made some ground-breaking advancements in the last year. For instance, Abbott Laboratories was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in October 2013 for their MetraClip. This item makes it possible to conduct a mitral valve repair by inserting the item into the heart with a catheter.

"It's been a disappointing field until now," Michael Mack, heart surgeon at Baylor Health Care System, told the Journal. "I think there will be a renewed enthusiasm over the next year or two that this is an issue that can be addressed and solved."

As excitement grows, health care facilities can turn to Medex Supply, a top medical supply store, to provide surgeons with access to an array of surgical supplies. Other available products include:

1 National Institutes of Health, "Open heart surgery" May 6, 2011
2 The Wall Street Journal, "Heart-valve problem may have a new cure" January 20, 2014

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