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UFS Doctors make History in South Africa
2011-07-14

 

New aortic valve

Three members of our Faculty of Health Sciences made history by being the first to implant a special new aortic valve in South Africa. 
 
In a combined effort, the Departments of Cardiology, Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery did the first Medtronic CoreValve implant in South Africa on a patient in Universitas Academic Hospital. 
 
With the support of hospital management and the Medtronic company, Prof. Hennie Theron, Prof. Stephen Brown and Dr JP Theron of the Faculty of Health Sciences, with the assistance of Dr Jean-Claude Laborde, performed the operation early on Wednesday morning, 06 July 2011.
 
The advantage of this new valve is that it can be implanted percutaneously through a catheter from the groin. This eliminates the need for invasive surgery.
 
The valve is made from porcine pericardium (tissue derived from pigs) and is mounted on an expandable stent, which is threaded along an artery, until it reaches its desired position. Prof. Theron says the valve is especially useful in older patients who suffer from aortic valve disease and pose a high surgical risk. Furthermore, the use of this valve greatly reduces hospitalisation time, in comparison to traditional surgery.
 
“One patient already received an implant this morning and we hope to finish 2 more today,” Prof. Brown said, emphasizing the swiftness and efficiency of the new valve implanting process.
 
“It is a complex procedure, but this service can in future be offered to all patients in the public and private sectors of the Free State. It is heartwarming that the academic complex can take the lead in this modern, high-tech therapy.”
 
For more information on the procedure, please contact Prof. Theron at 051 4053428.
 

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