OCT 01, 2016 7:10 AM PDT

New Catheter Technology Mends Leaky Tricuspid Valve

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
For the first time ever, a technology called “Cardioband” was successfully used to repair a leaky tricuspid valve, a condition usually requiring invasive open heart surgery with a heart-lung machine.
Cardioband implant - USZ
The Cardioband System was developed by scientists from Valtech to be able to reconstruct the mitral valve without open heart surgery. Now, scientists from the University of Zurich have used the same technology for the first time to conduct a “minimally invasive” procedure to repair the damaged tricuspid valve in a 75-year-old patient, who is recuperating well.

Normally, diseases of the tricuspid valve, which separates the right atrium of the heart from the right ventricle and prevents blood regurgitation in to the atrium, requires open heart surgery, which is a risky procedure compared to the new abilities of the Cardioband. Without treatment, a damaged tricuspid valve can cause increased pressure in the heart, water in the legs and abdomen, liver damage, and potential atrial fibrillation.

The technology works with the help of a catheter, securing any openings in the tricuspid valve with small anchors. Leaky tricuspid valves are rarer than leaky mitral valves, which serve the same purpose on the other half of the heart.

“The Cardioband is a minimally invasive therapy which does not require the use of a heart-lung machine, reducing the impact on the patient and lowering the risk,” said professor Francesco Maisano, MD, Director of the Department of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery at UHZ. “Now, even patients previously thought to be inoperable can be treated."

Maisano and his team at the University of Zurich are no strangers to the implementation of novel procedures to treat heart conditions. "Our philosophy at the University Hospital Zurich is to find an individual, simple and safe treatment for each patient, incorporating surgical and interventional methods where necessary," Maisano said.

Valtech is also responsible for a technology called “transfemoral adjustable mitral reconstruction,” which uses direct annuloplasty to reconstruction the mitral valve, again eliminating the need for open heart surgery.

Sources: University of Zurich, Valtech Cardio
About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
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