Open heart surgery patients benefit from new technology (Dr. John Webb)

A tool developed largely at St. Paul’s hospital is allowing some patients to avoid having to go through open heart surgery and often leads to faster recoveries.

It’s called the SAPIEN heart valve, and version 3 has just got Health Canada approval.

“The new valve is made of metal and cow tissue just sits inside the old valve and opens and closes with the blood flow and pumping as normal,” says Dr. John Webb, director of interventional cardiology and cardiac catheterization laboratories at St. Paul’s Hospital. “You can do this without putting people asleep or opening up the chest.”

By Martin MacMahon

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