In the world of Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery, quite everything is minimal: pain, recovery time, hospital stay, need for transfusion, and cosmetics. However, not every patient is an ideal candidate. Despite this, the Florida Heart and Lung Institute (FHLI) at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida, begins evaluating each new patient with this procedure in mind. There are specific criteria that our doctors assess before deciding between a traditional open-heart surgery or less invasive partial sternotomy, which involves an incision about a third of the size. In fact, any of the heart’s four valves can be accessed with this approach, that our heart and lung doctors are very keen at doing.

The new replacement valves can be made in quite a variety of methods. Mechanical valves are made out of entirely artificial materials, while bioprosthetic ones are a combination of synthetic and animal tissues. In other cases, a donated heart valve can be used found. For younger patients, we also offer something called the Ross procedure, where the patient is their own donor where a healthy section of their heart valve is used to repair the faulty one.

Board-certified physicians focus their individualized attention on raising the bar when it comes to their dedication to the patient’s wellbeing. Due to expertise and compassionate care, the team manages at least five hundred procedures each year, whether it’s one or multiple necessary operations for every qualifying patient.

“We are embarking upon some truly groundbreaking changes with the expansion of Cardiovascular Services,” said Brian McCain, Director of North Florida Regional Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Critical Care Unit. “With the current and newly added team members, I have no doubt we will reach the goal of providing excellent care, and achieving great outcomes for the patients in our community and beyond!”

2017 was a great year in cardiovascular healthcare. By late 2018, our doctors have only improved on their success in this emerging practice. Next time we’ll take a deeper look into a specific process that patients are routinely screened for, known as the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR.