St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London has created history in the UK by becoming the first hospital to use an implant to treat aortic regurgitation. Until now, surgery was the only viable treatment option, though considered too high-risk.
Aortic regurgitation is condition that affects the aortic valve and the flow of blood through to the heart. The valve does not close tightly causing some of the blood pumped out of the heart’s main pumping chamber to leak backwards, which causes heart failure. It affects five in 100 people.
There was a previous valve implant that was not as effective. However, this new procedure is non-invasive and takes less than an hour to perform. St. Bart’s is the only centre in the UK that can offer the treatment. So far, it has had a success rate of 100%.
The new implant was first created in Germany, with all 45 patients showing positive results.