Aortic stenosis: a new aortic valve used for the first time at IRCCS ISMETT on a sicilian patient

A new aortic valve with a simplified-technology procedure will reduce the length of hospital stays for patients undergoing minimally invasive cardiac surgery, including Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), improving the implant procedure and reducing the post-operative risks. This new system is currently used at IRCCS ISMETT in Palermo, Italy, one of the first hospitals in the world to utilize this innovative technology.

This latest generation valve was implanted for the first time in the world in a Sicilian patient suffering from a surgically inoperable severe aortic stenosis.

From a technical standpoint, the valve has an extended outer skirt that prevents the partial detachment of the aortic valve prostheses, causing paravalvular leaks. The device features a low-profile expandable sheath for introduction and an “on balloon” release system designed to preload the valve, eliminating the need for alignment during the procedure.

“This new self-expanding valve equipped with a balloon has been designed to simplify and improve the effectiveness of the TAVI procedure,” said Dr. Caterina Gandolfo, Chief of IRCCS ISMETT’s Interventional Cardiology Unit.

Thanks to TAVI, a transcatheter procedure, cardiac prostheses can be implanted to replace aortic valves impaired by stenosis (i.e., narrowing), without resorting to major surgery and stopping the heart. Patients previously deemed as inoperable now have a new hope of treatment thanks to this new procedure.

“Percutaneous aortic valve replacement represents a revolution in the treatment of aortic valve stenosis. Inoperable patients who used to be at a high risk with traditional surgery can now undergo a life-saving procedure. Research and technological innovation have allowed to design this new valve that further simplifies the procedure. An increasing number of patients will now be able to benefit from this minimally-invasive procedure, performed in centers of excellence with onsite cardiac surgery units, guaranteeing good quality outcomes,” said Dr. Michele Pilato, Chief of the Cardiac Surgery and Heart Transplantation Program at IRCCS ISMETT.

There are many advantages for the patients. “Post-op course will be extremely rapid and the patients’ mobilization will start right from the evening of the surgery, followed by discharge the next day. This is a pivotal goal for elderly patients who do not tolerate extended hospital stays,” said Dr. Franco Clemenza, Chief of IRCCS ISMETT’s Cardiology Service.