Milestone Reached in Revolutionary Cardiac Valve Replacement Procedure

Vancouver, October 22, 2007 — A leading interventional cardiologist at the Providence Heart and Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital this afternoon successfully performed his 100th percutaneous heart valve replacement, a new surgical technique that has transformed the lives of patients too sick to undergo conventional treatment.
Instead of the traditional valve replacement technique of open-heart surgery, Dr. John Webb's procedure uses a replacement valve made by Edwards Lifesciences that can be threaded up to the heart using a special catheter inserted into the patient's artery just above the leg.

The procedure is available on a limited basis for patients with significant valve problems who would not be able to endure open-heart surgery. Until the new device and procedure became available, there was no other option for these patients. When the aortic valve becomes leaky or blocked, angina and heart failure can result.

Dr. Webb was the first in North America to perform the procedure in January 2005. Today, he is an acknowledged world leader in percutaneous valve replacement, having performed one in five of all such procedures done worldwide and instructing cardiologists from 15 other countries in the technique.

Launched in June 2007, the Providence Heart and Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital merges and integrates all of Providence's heart and lung research, education and care programs under one umbrella. Its mandate is to transform cardiovascular and pulmonary research and care—transferring new care solutions from the laboratory to the clinics and communities to improve the lives of British Columbians.
Attention Media:
• A DVD of Dr. Webb performing the procedure is available
• Also available is an animation illustrating the procedure at
Username: CRFSH. Password: tct (Please credit: “Courtesy of Edwards”)
• Dr. Webb is available for interviews

Gavin Wilson
Providence Health Care Communications
Tel. 604-806-8583
Pager 604-667-4397