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Lenox Hill Hospital First in New York Area to Perform Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Replacement

A 76-year-old woman from Flushing, Queens, was the first patient in New York and second in the nation to undergo a percutaneously implanted mitral valve replacement. 

The procedure, performed in February, was executed conjointly by Lenox Hill Hospital’s Carlos Ruiz, MD, Director of the Structural and Congenital Heart Disease Program of the Department of Interventional Cardiology, and Gregory P. Fontana, MD, Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. This minimally invasive procedure is used to repair a blocked or leaky mitral heart valve that had previously been replaced.  The replacement valve is inserted percutaneously through a vein in the groin and positioned within the mitral valve. It provides an option for individuals who would otherwise have required a second open heart surgery, which would have been too risky given their age or current medical condition.

“Transcatheter valve replacement is a major breakthrough in the treatment of heart disease and is part of an important trend in which minimally invasive procedures are used in place of traditionally invasive surgical procedures,” noted Dr. Ruiz. “What is unique at Lenox Hill Hospital is the close collaboration between the interventional cardiologists and the heart surgeons.  The doctors often review and discuss all available test results to offer a joint opinion to insure that each patient receives the best treatment for his or her particular problem.” 

“It is a true multidisciplinary effort,” added Dr. Fontana. “Cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and vascular surgeons all work together in a single setting with a single goal: to provide extraordinary, minimally invasive, efficient heart care to patients suffering from all forms of heart disease and vascular disease.”