Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

 

Dec. 13, 2011

UI Heart and Vascular Center to offer new heart valve treatment

Leaders of University of Iowa Heart and Vascular Center announced today that their heart valve team will soon be the first in the state to offer a new, cutting-edge treatment for seriously ill patients affected by severe heart valve problems.

The new technology uses a catheter inserted through a small incision in a patient's thigh that travels through blood vessels and can be used to replace a person's failing heart valve in the aortic artery.

"We are delighted to bring this important new treatment to Iowans and others across the region," says Robert Saeid Farivar, M.D., Ph.D., a UI Heart and Vascular Center cardiothoracic surgeon. "Transcatheter heart valve replacement gives patients a crucial new alternative that we could not offer before now."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the treatment, called the SAPIEN percutaneous heart valve replacement, manufactured by Edwards LifeSciences.

The technology is reserved for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are considered too high risk for traditional forms of heart valve replacement surgery, or were previously considered inoperable.

"Research outcomes show that we can reduce deaths among these patients by 20 percent at one year following treatment," adds Farivar. "One of the keys to success is having a strong, multi-disciplinary team that has a track record of working together, which is one of our strengths at the University of Iowa."

In October, UI Heart and Vascular Center became the first program in the nation to receive certification for its cardiac valve program from The Joint Commission, the accreditation agency for health care organizations in the United States.

In addition to the new transcatheter procedure, the center's heart valve clinic, established more than three years ago, offers minimally invasive surgery for heart valve repair and replacement.

The UI Heart and Vascular Center team plans to complete the training for the new treatment late in December and to begin treating patients early in 2012.

For more information, call 319-384-6245 or visit www.uihealthcare.org/heart.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Care Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu