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UMMC cardiologist implants heart valve without open-heart surgery

Published on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Published in Press Releases on March 22, 2011 (PDF)

Dr. Makram R. Ebeid, pediatric cardiologist and professor of pediatrics, has successfully performed a transcatheter pulmonary heart valve replacement procedure for the first time in the state, a nonsurgical alternative to open-heart surgery.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center is the first hospital in the region to offer the minimally invasive procedure that serves as a new tool in the treatment of congenital heart defects and damaged heart valves. Prior to the development of this capability, patients wanting to have this procedure would have to travel out of state.

"This is a great benefit for the patients, Mississippi, and UMMC. Families can stay in the state, and the recovery period with this procedure compared to open-heart surgery is shorter. Patients can have a one-day hospital stay instead of 5-7 days," Ebeid said.

Managing congenital heart defects that impact the function of the pulmonary valve has long-required multiple open heart surgeries throughout a patient's lifetime. Now, patients may be candidates for the procedure that allows a cardiologist to deliver a replacement valve through a catheter in the cardiovascular system, requiring only a small incision in the groin.

The procedure is FDA approved under a special protocol for both pediatric and adult patients.

"To reopen the chest many times is obviously uncomfortable for the patient but also comes with great risk. With this replacement valve, we can delay the patient's next surgical intervention," Ebeid said.