Carilion Clinic is one of the first sites in Virginia to implant the new Medtronic CoreValve into a patient's heart, replacing the heart's damaged aortic valve.
When someone has Aortic Stenosis (hardening of the arteries), the aortic valve becomes stiff and limits the amount of blood that can travel through the heart. The valve can be replaced with open heart surgery, but some patients are too sick to undergo a major operation.
The MedTronic CoreValve System can be inserted into an artery (usually through the leg) using a procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) and positioned in the heart where it automatically expands and replaces the damaged valve.
According to Carilion Clinic Cardiologist Jason Foerst, M.D ., "this minimally invasive device allows us to treat patients with severe narrowing of their aortic valve who are not able to have open heart surgery. The greatest advantage to our patients when compared to other existing technology is that this valve can be delivered through a much smaller tube. This allows the majority of patients to have the valve delivered through a tiny incision in their leg with no surgery. The average recovery times will be dramatically shorter getting patients back to an improved quality of life almost immediately. We are proud to be the only Structural Heart and Valve Center  in Virginia offering the CoreValve to patients with severe aortic stenosis."
You can learn more about heart valves by visiting our Structural Heart and Valve Center on the web .
Learn more about the CoreValve in this video: