Medical City Dallas First in the Nation to Perform Newly FDA-Approved Heart Surgery

Medical City Dallas is the first hospital in the country to perform a heart procedure approved by the FDA that treats patients with aortic stenosis—who are not likely to survive open-heart surgery by replacing the heart valve without opening the patient’s chest.

The procedure was performed by Todd Dewey, M.D., surgical director of heart transplant and structural heart disease, and Bruce Bowers, M.D., medical director for invasive cardiology and co-director of the hospital’s Dallas Valve Institute on Oct. 23.

“This approach provides new hope to thousands of patients with aortic stenosis, who had been told they were out of options,” Bowers said in a statement. “We look forward to making it possible for hundreds of patients to now see children marry, grandchildren born, and golden anniversaries celebrated.”

Tuesday’s procedure was performed on a 72-year-old female patient who is recovering in Medical City’s cardiovascular ICU.

“She has done well with the procedure,” Dewey said in a statement. “She had critical aortic stenosis, and her only option for a lifesaving aortic valve replacement was by transapical approach.”

Here’s additional information on the procedure from Medical City:

In the transapical approach, a tube is inserted into the body through a tiny incision between the ribs. The tube contains an Edwards SAPIEN valve, which is guided into place in the heart, replacing the diseased aortic valve. The transfemoral approach was approved by the FDA in November of 2011 for commercial use, for patients who are too weak to survive open-heart surgery. The transapical approach approved for commercial use on Friday provides a new option for previously inoperable patients whose deteriorating leg arteries make the transfemoral approach difficult or impossible.

Unlike open-heart surgery, the heart continues to beat throughout the entire TAVR procedure, regardless of which approach is used. A cardiopulmonary bypass machine is not needed.

“Medical City continues to be first in heart valve care,” said Medical City CEO Erol Akdamar. “We pioneered this procedure, performing one of the first TAVR procedures in the country during clinical trials in 2006. Since that time we’ve remained dedicated to bringing this life-saving option to more patients, performing nearly 500 TAVR procedures to date. I commend Dr. Bowers, Dr. Dewey, and the entire Dallas Valve Institute team for their continued dedication to exceptional patient care.”