In a UK first, experts from Glenfield Hospital have repaired a dysfunctional heart valve by inserting a tiny implant measuring just 23mm.
The pioneering Lotus Valve System gives surgeons improved control of the valve throughout the keyhole procedure, enabling increased precision and the ability to reposition or retrieve the valve, even after insertion if necessary.
The technology was used in a trans catheter aortic valve implants (TAVI) procedure to treat aortic stenosis in November 2013. It is less invasive than open heart surgery and does not require general anaesthetic, meaning the patient is fully conscious throughout.
Until recently there were no, or very limited, options to help those with this life-limiting condition, who are considered inoperable or too high risk for cardiac surgery. This new generation of keyhole surgery further expands options for future patients
Aortic stenosis is a life-threatening condition where thickening and stiffening in the heart valve prevents it from opening and closing as it should. It affects approximately 3% of the population over the age of 65 and 5% of people older than 75.
Dr Jan Kovac, consultant cardiologist at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “It is great to be part of the first team in the UK to successfully use the Lotus Valve System. This is further recognition of the work done by the pioneering cardiac team at Glenfield Hospital.”
Multiple specialities, including the cardiology team, cardiac surgeons, radiology, nurses and anaesthetic support, worked closely together to successfully carry out the procedure.
Dr Kovac said: “This new generation of keyhole surgery further expands options for future patients. Until recently there were no, or very limited, options to help those with this life-limiting condition, who are considered inoperable or too high risk for cardiac surgery.”
Developed and produced by Boston Scientific, the Lotus Valve System also employs a unique Adaptive Seal feature, designed to minimise the Paravalvular Leakage (PVL). PVL is a complication associated with implantation of a prosthetic heart valve and is one of the main causes of death in heart valve replacement procedures.
Jane Healy, vice president of medical affairs at Boston Scientific, said: “The system offers a unique and effective new treatment alternative for patients with severe aortic stenosis at high risk with surgical valve replacement. This is the first commercial implant of the valve in the UK following our CE mark approval in October 2013 and we are delighted to offer our congratulations to the team at Glenfield Hospital.”
The system offers a unique and effective new treatment alternative for patients with severe aortic stenosis at high risk with surgical valve replacement
The first patient who underwent this ground-breaking surgery in November 2013 was Elizabeth Rowland, 84, from Leicestershire. She could hardly walk before the surgery, but having recovered well, she can now walk around freely.
She said: “I’m so pleased to have had this operation - it has given me a new lease of life. I can move about more and I don’t need quite so much medication. The care I received was excellent too, everyone was lovely. I’m pleased to be one of the first in the UK to have this procedure.”
The cardiac department at Glenfield Hospital treat patients from the East Midlands, as well as those from across the UK and overseas.