News | June 21, 2011

Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center Surgeon Pioneers Use of Heart Valve Repair Ring

June 21, 2011 – The St. Francis Heart Center in Indianapolis, Ind. announced that it has performed the first post-U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval surgery in the United States using a new device for treating tricuspid valve disease.

Called the Contour 3-D Annuloplasty Ring, the device, which is manufactured by Medtronic, is designed to restore normal valve function by remodeling the natural valve's shape and size.

The procedure was performed by Marc Gerdisch, M.D., chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Franciscan St. Francis Health and surgical director of the St. Francis Heart Valve Center. Gerdisch, a partner with Cardiac Surgery Associates, provided input during the development of the new ring.

"Our team is focused on reestablishing normal heart physiology to achieve optimal performance," said Gerdisch. "We want the best possible outcome for every single patient, and this device is part of an approach that is based on restoring dynamic anatomy that has been altered by disease."

Tricuspid valve disease is a condition in which the valve between the two right heart chambers (right ventricle and right atrium) does not function properly. Tricuspid valve disease often occurs with other heart valve problems, as was the case with the first patient to receive the Contour 3-D Ring.

The case involved a 74-year-old woman with congestive heart failure dating back more than a decade. The woman suffered from multiple debilitating heart issues, and because the surgery involved several of her heart's components, having an annuloplasty ring similar to the natural valve's shape was key to an overall successful procedure.

She is now recovering and doing very well, with echocardiography showing positive results, physicians report.

Gerdisch and other physicians credit the Contour 3-D Ring's true anatomical profile as a major benefit.

"This is the only remodeling ring that matches the shape of a healthy tricuspid valve, as determined through computed tomography (CT) images of normal tricuspid valves," said Aubrey Galloway, M.D., chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, who was the lead clinician creating the new ring. "This will minimize stress of the valve leaflets and optimize valve function."

For more information: www.MyHeartCare.net, www.medtronic.com

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