Redondo Beach, CA (PressExposure) October 31, 2009 -- If there is one field of cardiac care that flourished in 2009, it is undoubtedly heart valve surgery. While only 250,000 heart valve operations are performed each year, the news specific to this growing segment of cardiac treatment was extraordinary.
First, there were the much-publicized heart valve operations of public figures during 2009. In March, the former First Lady of the United States, Barbara Bush, had aortic valve replacement surgery. Later that month, Robin Williams, Oscar award-winner and comedian, had aortic valve replacement and mitral valve repair.
Throughout the balance of 2009, the list of heart valve surgery patients featured Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York, the Malaysian Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Greeceâs former King Constantine. In October, famed actress, Elizabeth Taylor, had mitral valve repair to treat a leaky heart valve.
âAwareness to heart valve disease is skyrocketing,â notes Adam Pick, former heart valve surgery patient and author of The Patientâs Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. âTraffic at my website, http://www.Heart-Valve-Surgery.com, will surge over 200% this year.â
Pick runs the worldâs largest, educational blog dedicated to heart valve replacement and heart valve repair surgery at http://www.heart-valve-surgery.com/heart-surgery-blog/.
Considering the aging of the population, many believe that surgical treatment for heart valve disease will continue to grow as 76 million âbaby boomersâ reach sixty years of age through 2024.
The most prevalent forms of heart valve disease are aortic stenosis, in which the heart valve narrows, and mitral valve prolapse, in which the heart valve leaflets fail to seal properly.
To manage the expected increase in heart valve surgery and enhance the patient experience, several medical device manufacturers are coming to market with exciting new technologies, including catheter-based techniques which eliminate the need for open-heart procedures.
âThereâs no doubt about it,â states Pick, âThis is an exciting time as Edwards Lifesciences, Medtronic and Abbot Laboratories continue their clinical trials for trans-catheter approaches that could lead to FDA-approval in the very near future.â
However, Pick suggests that traditional forms of heart valve replacement and heart valve repair have documented surgical outcomes that are very successful and continue to improve. That said, Pick suggests that patients must evaluate and research their options (median sternotomy, mini-sternotomy, mini-thoracotomy) prior to any heart valve procedure.