New Heart Valve Repair System Tested for Safety

By Dr. Matthew Watson

(HealthDay News) --
A new method of repairing leaking mitral heart valves appears safe, a small
study shows.

In the new study, researchers tested a reversible implant called the
Percutaneous Transvenous Mitral Annuloplasty (PTMA) system, which is installed
via a catheter.

In the heart, the mitral valve controls the flow of blood from the left atrium
into the left ventricle (from the upper left chamber into the lower left
chamber). A leaking mitral valve causes blood to flow back into the left
atrium. This condition can worsen existing heart failure or cause congestive
heart failure, according to a news release from the American Heart Association.

Currently, mitral valve repair requires opening the chest and putting the patient
on a heart-lung machine. This method increases the risk of heart attack and
stroke during surgery, as well as post-surgery risks such as lung problems,
irregular heartbeat and infection, the news release noted. Read more…

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