Regrowing Heart Tissue and Regrowing Heart Valves
The Heart Center at Franciscan Health Indianapolis was first in the world to use groundbreaking technology allowing patients to repair and re-grow healthy heart tissue. As a consequence, nearly all leaking mitral valves are repaired rather than replaced. A repair rate of nearly 98 percent for patients with leaking mitral valves provides patients with ideal outcomes.
Valve repair surgery preserves your own heart valve, avoiding the long-term issues related to valve replacement.
The expertise of the Valve Center team has provided outstanding results. Since the Valve Center was established, 98 percent of all leaking mitral valves have been repaired, rather than replaced. Aortic valves that are leaking but have adequate leaflets are spared as well. Because the function of the patient’s own valve has been restored, concerns about long-term anticoagulation (blood thinning) or deterioration of biologic valves (taken from animals) are avoided.
Surgeons at the Franciscan Health Heart Valve Center in Indianapolis use a number of different valve repair procedures, depending on the needs of the patient.
- Commissurotomy: Fused valve leaflets are separated to widen the valve opening.
- Decalcification: Calcium deposits are removed to allow the leaflets to be more flexible and close properly.
- Reshape leaflets: If one of the leaflets is floppy, a segment may be cut out and the leaflet sewn back together, allowing the valve to close more tightly.
- Chordal transfer: If the anterior leaflet of the mitral valve has prolapse (floppy; lacking support), the chordae are transferred from the posterior leaflet to the anterior leaflet. Then, the posterior leaflet is repaired by quadrangular resection.
- Annulus support: If the valve annulus (the ring of tissue supporting the valve) is too wide, it may be reshaped or tightened by sewing a ring structure around the annulus. The ring may be made of tissue or synthetic material, including ECM.
- Patched leaflets: The surgeon may use tissue patches to repair any leaflets with tears or holes.