Dr. Sabet Hashim, a world leader in mitral valve repair surgery, has devised a new technique that restores a leaky mitral valve in patients who have had a heart attack.
Dr. Hashim, co-physician-in-chief of the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute, answers questions in this video about this new valve repair technique:
Q: Why do you believe that preserving the heart valve is better for patients in the long-run over replacing the valve mechanically?
A: Anytime you replace a part in the heart, you get something artificial. That artificial piece can wear and tear and cause clots that can cause strokes. If you restore the valve, it’s always better because you can restore the valve to its natural form. It does not wear. It does not tear. It resists infection. Therefore, the patient has a better quality of life and more longevity.
Q: You recently spoke before the American Academy of Thoracic Surgeons about a 10-year study of patients who went through an operation to preserve the valve. What were the results of that study?
A: Our study concerns patients who have leaky heart valves that are associated with heart attack. Traditionally, those valves were repaired, but using a ring around the valve. This has failed. There were a lot of recurrences using this failed method. So the trend now is to replace those valves. Our new technique adds to the ring some new cords that are made of Gortex that realign the leaflets (of the valve). What the study shows is, that with this additional repair technique, our patients have had excellent results – as good as replacing the traditional leaky valve.
Dr. Hashim is co-physician-in-chief of the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute.