AM Buffalo


Wellness Wednesday - New heart valve gives hope

Posted at 3:44 PM, May 19, 2021

Dr. Matthew Gillespie, attending interventional cardiologist and Dr. John Cheatham, professor emeritus, Department of Pediatrics, Cardiology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine talk about a new therapy for patients who have congenital heart disease. Congenital heart disease specifically is the most common birth defect they see, both in the United States and globally. Dr. Gillespie says that it means that patients who were developing in utero, as the heart develops there is a structure abnormality that occurs during heart development and in fact a lot of patients require surgery to fix the defect they are born with. Even with success patients can have residual effects issues that require follow-up and subsequent treatments. Dr. Gillespie says Harmony valve is a therapy that is designed for that issue, to help treat residual lesions in patients who have had successful surgery.

Harmony valve is the new treatment currently on the market. It is FDA approved and this is a big breakthrough. Dr. Cheatham says it is a big breakthrough because it has been a significant challenge for engineer and companies to come up with a product like Harmony. He says the very first transcatheter heart value, in other words a valve being delivered without open heart surgery was performed in 2000. It wasn’t the Harmony valve, but a predecessor and the Harmony valve has been developed since 2009 with trials in 2012 to recent approval. It is a big accomplishment both for the engineers and the companies who developed such a product.

Dr. Cheatham explains how the harmony valve works and says the Harmony valve, again, was developed to give the patients who otherwise would have had to go back for open heart surgery for surgical pulmonary valve, an option to have the Harmony valve delivered through a little small puncture hole in the neck vein or leg vein. He says the patients come in that morning, have the procedure that day and usually go home the next morning for a full recovery really quick.

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