Your NPR news source

A New Way to Avoid Open Heart Surgery?

SHARE A New Way to Avoid Open Heart Surgery?

At the American College of Cardiology conference in Chicago this week, doctors are discussing a new procedure that would help some patients avoid open heart surgery.

The Mitral Clip procedure repairs a valve that helps pump blood through the heart. And it’s done in a catheterization lab instead of an operating room. Dr.Ted Feldman with Evanston Hospital is involved in the trial studies.

FELDMAN: So the two leaflets or doors of the mitral valve, look kind of like saloon doors. And if you imagine that they’re missing and they won’t close properly, if you put a clip, a clothespin, on the center of the two leaflets, you can force them to align and close properly.

Also at the conference this week, doctors are refuting the effectiveness of a drug called Vytorin. The medication was supposed to lower patients’ cholesterol levels. The news resulted in a dramatic drop in stock prices of the drug makers Schering-Plough and Merck.

The Latest