Orlando Health Heart Institute Uses New Technology To Replace Heart Valves

The latest option enhances care for patients and improves process for doctors.

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ORLANDO, Fla. (Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015) — Leading edge heart valve technology is helping improve patient outcomes and giving doctors greater accuracy when implanting replacement valves. Interventional cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons at the Orlando Health Heart Institute are the first in Central Florida to use the newly approved recapturable, self-expanding CoreValve® Evolut™ R System.

The first-and-only recapturable and repositionable device available in the U.S., the Evolut R System is approved for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in severe aortic stenosis patients who are at high or extreme risk for surgery. Untreated, aortic valve stenosis can lead to serious heart problems including heart failure and even death.

“TAVR itself was a generational leap forward for patients who were unable to receive the benefits of surgical options,” said Deepak Vivek, MD, interventional cardiologist and director, Orlando Health Heart Institute Valve Center. “This new valve system is a refinement to the major advance of TAVR. The new technology brings more safety, less complications, and shorter recovery times for patients.”

The CoreValve Evolut R System replaces a diseased aortic heart valve through a minimally invasive procedure, without open-heart surgery and without surgical removal of the diseased valve. The device is typically inserted via an artery in the leg and then guided through the arteries into the heart. Once in place, the device expands and takes over the original valve’s function to enable oxygen-rich blood to flow efficiently out of the heart. 

Because the valve is recapturable and repositionable, cardiologists and surgeons are able to place the valve with greater accuracy and ease. Greater accuracy in placement reduces leaky valve problems that can lead to heart failure and other complications for patients. More accurate valve placement also reduces the need for a permanent pacemaker.

The new valve is also designed for use in smaller leg arteries, as opposed to previous valve size requirements for larger arteries or chest incisions (in instances when leg arteries were not large enough to accommodate).

Aortic stenosis, a common heart problem caused by a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve due to excessive calcium deposited on the valve leaflets. When the valve narrows, it does not open or close properly, making the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Eventually, this causes the heart to weaken and function poorly, which may lead to heart failure and increased risk for sudden cardiac death. Aortic stenosis typically occurs in people more than 65 years of age.

“Age is only a number,” said Dr. Vivek. “Many patients who are in their eighties or nineties are able to reap dramatic benefits. Not only are we helping to add longevity to their life expectancies, we are able to add quality to the years of their lives. We are hoping to reduce the number of hospitalizations due to shortness of breath or heart failure, and help patients maintain independence as they age.”

About Orlando Health
Orlando Health is a $2.1 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of physician practices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers throughout Central Florida. The organization includes Orlando Health Physician Group and Physician Associates, two of the largest multi-specialty practices in Central Florida, ownership in an outpatient surgery center, and eight wholly-owned or partnership hospitals. An Orlando Health subsidiary is a majority partner with a 51 percent interest in five outpatient imaging centers. 

Orlando Health is home to the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics and is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. They are: Orlando Regional Medical Center; Dr. P. Phillips Hospital; South Seminole Hospital; Health Central Hospital, the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, which consists of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies; the UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health, South Lake Hospital (50 percent affiliation); and St. Cloud Regional Medical Center (20 percent affiliation). Areas of clinical excellence are heart and vascular, cancer care, neurosciences, surgery, pediatric orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatology, and women’s health. 

More than 2,000 physicians have privileges at Orlando Health, which is also one of the area’s largest employers with more than 15,000 employees who support our philosophy of providing high quality care and service that revolves around patients’ needs.  We prove this everyday with more than 100,000 inpatient admissions and nearly 900,000 outpatient visits each year. In all, Orlando Health serves 1.8 million Central Florida residents and more than 4,500 international patients annually.  Additionally, Orlando Health provides more than $270 million in support of community health needs. More information can be found at www.orlandohealth.com.

Media Contact:
Sabrina Childress
Media Relations & Public Affairs Manager
Orlando Regional Medical Center

August 12, 2015, in Health