First in the world harmony heart valve

First in the world harmony heart valve.
First in the world harmony heart valve.(Ivanhoe Newswire)
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 9:33 AM CDT
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PHILADELPHIA (IVANHOE NEWSWIRE) – Between two and three million Americans are living with congenital heart defects. Now, a new device means a less invasive procedure for people with leaking heart valves.

Patients who are born with a heart defect and have surgery to repair it know that as they age, they may need additional heart surgery. A first-in-the-world device is now allowing doctors to treat patients with congenital heart disease in a less invasive way, meaning less time in the hospital, and a much easier recovery.

51-year-old Russell Soloway eats right, works out, and loves long hikes with his fiancé, Shara. For years, he’s been preparing his body for a second open-heart surgery, that he knew he’d need someday.

Soloway was born with a congenital heart condition and had his first open-heart surgery as a child.

“One of the first, at my age to have it repaired,” Soloway emphasizes.

Three years ago, Soloway’s cardiologist determined his pulmonary valve was leaking blood. At the time, Soloway was a busy federal litigator and hated the idea of slowing down for a major procedure.

“Four to eight months of recovery and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, that would really disrupt my life,” Soloway explains.

Instead, in October of 2019, Soloway became one of the first patients in the world to undergo a procedure using the Harmony Transcatheter Pulmonary Heart Valve.

Interventional cardiologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Matthew Gillespie, says “The advantages to the technology are you get the same benefit of having open-heart surgery in that you have a functioning valve implanted, but it’s done through a small incision in the leg, and you go home the next day. It’s designed to be elastic so that you can scrunch it down to a small size and push it in through a very small catheter. When it comes out of the catheter, it opens.”

The valve is designed to stay firmly in place, without sutures. For Soloway, recovery was relatively easy.

Soloway says, “By the third day, I was basically back to normal.”

Soon after the procedure, he was back on the trails, hardly missing a beat.

Soloway had the Harmony Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve inserted in 2019 as part of a clinical trial. After the trial was completed, the FDA approved the Harmony Valve last March.

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