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Minimally Invasive Aortic Heart Valve Replacement

This minimally invasive procedure for the replacement of a defective aortic valve has many advantages over traditional open heart surgery.

New Minimally Invasive Procedure For Replacing Defective Heart Valve

Fifty- six- year-old John Doss has a passion for teaching karate to children. So when he learned that he had aortic stenosis – a condition in which the aortic valve becomes constricted and does not open normally – he dreaded the thought of open heart surgery and a lengthy recovery that would keep him away from his students.


Looking for an alternative, Doss went to the
Detroit Medical Center for an evaluation. At DMC Harper University Hospital, Doss met Dr. Ali Kafi, chief of clinical cardio-thoracic surgery, one of the nation’s most respected cardiac surgeons and a faculty member of the Wayne State University School of Medicine.


Kafi, who has performed thousands of open heart surgeries, determined that Doss was a good candidate for a minimally invasive procedure to replace his defective aortic valve with a new one.


In describing Doss’ condition, Dr.Kafi said, “Over time, fibrotic tissues form on the valve, it becomes scarred and calcium builds up on the scar. Gradually, the valve becomes very tight so that it’s difficult for the heart to push blood through it.”


As a result, the body’s organs receive an insufficient supply of oxygen rich blood. Moreover, blood may actually leak into the lungs, causing shortness of breath. In addition to a much smaller incision, minimally invasive surgery offers several other advantages when compared to traditional open heart surgery:

  • Limited amount of bone and muscle is cut, resulting in less damage

  • The incision is more stable with less chance of separation

  • Less bleeding

  • Lower chance of infection

  • Faster recovery

“I was in the operation and out before I knew it,” said Doss, who spent just four days in the hospital. “The doctor said, ‘Well, Mr. Doss, if you can get up and walk around you can go home today.’ So I was up, out of bed and doing laps around the nurses’ station. I just felt good,” he said.


Within a month, Doss was back on the job, teaching karate again and generally feeling much more energetic.


Minimally invasive surgery for defective heart valve replacement is available to all qualifying patients at
DMC Harper University Hospital, one of the specialty hospitals of Detroit Medical Center.


To connect with doctor at any DMC facility, call 1- 888- DMC- 2500.


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