Orlando Health Heart Institute Uses New Technology to Replace Heart Valves

Leading edge heart valve technology is helping improve patient outcomes and giving doctors greater accuracy when implanting replacement valves.

Leading edge heart valve technology is helping improve patient outcomes and giving doctors greater accuracy when implanting replacement valves. Interventionalcardiologists 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 over 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.”