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News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

Doctors pioneer heart surgery breakthrough

 The first trial of a treatment allowing doctors to insert a fully repositionable replacement heart valve without the need for open-heart surgery has been successfully conducted at a Melbourne hospital.

Doctors at the Monash Medical Centre heart unit, known as MonashHeart, saved the lives of 11 elderly women who were suffering from aortic stenosis, the degrading and narrowing of the main heart valve.

A team of cardiologists and surgeons, led by MonashHeart director Professor Ian Meredith, inserted a replacement heart valve, on the end of a wire, through a small hole in the groin of the women, who were too frail to undergo the invasive open-heart surgery often given to younger patients with the condition.

Dubbed a ‘lotus valve’, the valve opens up like a flower once inside the heart, and can be easily repositioned. The trial, which reported a 100 per cent success rate, promises to help save the lives of senior patients around the world.

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