Medical City Fort Worth September 30, 2016

Heart patient Vickie Standley (right) with her daughter, Toni Melvin.

Vickie Standley doesn’t plan to let heart surgery interrupt her daily routine for very long. On Sept. 21, the 80-year-old Poolville resident became the first patient in Texas to have her aortic valve replaced using the new Intuity valve system commercially, following its FDA approval in August.

Ms. Standley, who suffered from aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve opening), has high expectations for an easier recovery because of the new rapid deployment valve procedure used by cardiothoracic surgeon Reza S. Khalafi, MD, at Medical City Fort Worth. Ms. Standley says she is eager to get back to work as a store cashier in Weatherford and to caring for her horses, dogs and donkey.

The Intuity procedure may help Ms. Standley recover more easily than with a conventional surgical aortic valve replacement procedure. The minimally invasive Intuity procedure was previously only available in the United States in clinical trials.

“With the Intuity system, I only need to use three guiding sutures to place the valve, compared with about 16 sutures for a conventional aortic valve,” Dr. Khalafi said. “Since the procedure is simpler and quicker, we can shorten the time that the patient’s blood flow is interrupted during surgery. We can also use smaller, less invasive incisions. This benefits the patient by causing less pain, promoting faster recovery and helping to decrease complications. The Intuity system is an especially good option for patients, like Ms. Standley, who need both a valve replacement and bypass surgery.”

Dr. Khalafi and the Plaza Medical Center cardiovascular surgery team also recently became the first in North Texas to perform the first commercial implantation of another, “sutureless” aortic valve, the Perceval, which stays in place without sutures and can also be implanted more quickly than with conventional aortic valve procedures. These new procedures provide surgeons with more options to find the best fit for their patients.

Research shows that extended cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and aortic cross-clamping times are significant, independent risk factors in cardiac surgery, according to a 2015 article in the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery. According to the article, “Any technique which shortens cross-clamp or CPB will have the potential to decrease the risk of complications.”

Each year, more than 200,000 Americans suffer with severe aortic stenosis, with more than 60,000 aortic valve replacement procedures performed annually.