Medical specialists from the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute, in the City of Health, performed transcatheter mitral valve replacement procedures for the first time in the country and in Central America and the Caribbean, in a public health institution.
Dr. Pedro Echeverría, a cardiovascular surgeon from this highly complex center, highlighted that these surgeries are part of the Heart Structural Medicine and Surgery Program carried out at the ICT, for those patients who are not candidates for conventional heart surgery.
He also highlighted that they are new-generation valves that are implanted in the mitral position. "It is one of the 4 valves of the heart, if it is damaged it causes very severe problems and rapid deterioration of this organ, so it is important to replace it when the patient begins to have problems with it".
According to the cardiologist, the procedure is done with a small incision in the groin, with ultrasound it is possible to puncture the femoral vein, and through it a system the thickness of a pencil is advanced, reaching the heart, and then passing from one cavity to another; The mitral valve is crossed through the catheter and the new one is implanted.
"With this type of procedure, the patient's chest is not opened, he does not have pain or discomfort," said Dr. Echeverría and clarified that these surgeries cannot be performed on all patients, since a series of procedures must be taken. measurements and sizes to determine if the implantation of a new valve does not interfere with the functioning of the heart.
As background, he explained that these surgeries were previously performed on a patient who had undergone heart surgery 12 years ago, the mitral valve had been replaced, but due to a cerebrovascular event, she was considered at moderate to severe risk of complications if surgery was performed. open heart. Another case was a woman who suffered from breast cancer and whose mitral valve was implanted 14 years ago and must be replaced.