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U.S.-based Sri Lankan cardiologist develops new artificial heart valve

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 April 2004, 17:13 GMT]
Dr. Rohan Jayasinghe, an interventional cardiologist of Sri Lankan origin based in New York, U.S., on Wednesday presented what is said to be the world’s first artificial mitral heart valve that can be delivered to and implanted in the heart through a catheter inserted through a blood vessel in the groin, thus precluding the need for open heart surgery in heart valve replacement, at Columbia University in New York, medical sources said.

Dr. Jayasinghe disclosed the details of his invention and its implantation to an audience of medical researchers and cardiac surgeons at Columbia University Wednesday, at a presentation chaired by Dr. Mehmet Oz, a renowned cardiac surgeon attached to the Department of Surgery at Columbia, the sources said.

The initial testing of the new valve has been carried out with great success, the sources said, adding that at the next step, the valve will be tested on live animal models.

A collaborative project with Columbia University is planned for the tests and to develop the valve model, the sources said.

When contacted by TamilNet, Dr. Oz said, "[Dr. Jayasinghe] presented his ideas. But we are hardly ready for humans. He approached us for studies in animals."

Mitral valve problems are very common around the world, with millions of sufferers. When the valve is at an advanced stage of dysfunction, the only treatment currently available is open-heart surgery for patients who can tolerate such an operation.

If Dr. Jayasinghe’s new method succeeds in becoming a viable surgical method, which could take a few years, patients with heart valve diseases could be treated with only a pinhole in the groin.

 

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