Pioneering heart operation performed for the first time in Leicester

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In a UK first, experts from Glenfield Hospital have repaired a dysfunctional heart valve by inserting a tiny implant measuring just 23mm in size. 

According to a press release issued recently by Leicester’s Hospitals, 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 Boston Scientific Lotus Valve system was used in a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (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.

Aortic stenosis affects approximately 3% of the UK population over the age of 65 and 5% of people older than 75.

Jan Kovac, consultant cardiologist at Leicester’s Hospitals, says: “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 this procedure.

Jan adds: “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.”

Jane Healy, vice president of Medical Affairs at Boston Scientific, said: “The Lotus Valve 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.”

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