Holy Cross Hospital is the First in Florida to Perform Specialized Heart Operation

Photo of paravalvular leak imaging

Paravalvular leak closure was performed using a transapical approach, which is a minimally invasive option for patients who are not suitable for open heart surgery
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Surgeons at Holy Cross Hospital in Florida are the first in the state to use the minimally invasive transapical approach to repair a paravalvular leak (PVL), a complication of cardiac valve replacement resulting in blood escaping from around the valve which can cause anemia or congestive heart failure and may be life threatening. The hybrid cardiac repair surgical approach is an option for patients who are not suitable candidates for open heart surgery due to age or medical conditions. 
Having undergone three previous open heart operations, Dorothy Hodyl, 74, was now becoming increasingly short of breath. Holy Cross physicians determined her mitral valve had become detached from the surrounding heart tissue leaving a gap of approximately 30 percent of the circumference of the valve, a paravalvular leak.
“Patients with paravalvular leaks have typically had at least one open heart surgery and may be older which adds to the risks of undergoing another open heart surgery to repair the leak,” explains Dr. Alexander Llanos who led the surgical team for the hybrid cardiac repair. “The transapical hybrid cardiac repair procedure offers a quicker recovery and better outcome possibilities for some high risk patients.”
The procedure, which took under three hours, involved gaining access to the heart through an incision made between the ribs which enabled the placement of a sheath that acted as an access port for the physicians to utilize guidewires and catheter techniques to deliver a device to close the PVL. Once the closure was confirmed, the sheath was removed and the incision surgically closed.
In addition to Llanos, the surgical team included cardiothoracic surgeon Irving David and Dr. Vicente Font, an expert in echocardiography, which was used to guide the procedure and confirm the repair. Director of Interventional Cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital Dr. Igor F. Palacios also joined them building upon a collaborative agreement begun in 2010 between the Holy Cross and Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the world’s most distinguished academic medical centers.
The operation took place in Holy Cross Hospital’s new 2,000 square-foot hybrid interventional operating room which contains advanced technology enabling leading-edge procedures. Watch a video of our physicians explaining paravalvular leak and how the minimally invasive procedure was successfully performed.

Learn more about the services offered at the Holy Cross Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
A member of CHE Trinity Inc., Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. is a full-service, non-profit Catholic hospital, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. Since opening its doors in 1955, the 559-bed hospital has offered progressive services and programs to meet the evolving healthcare needs of Broward County. Today, Holy Cross has more than 600 physicians on staff representing more than 40 specialties and more than 3,000 employees. The hospital is fully accredited by the independent Joint Commission and its medical team has earned a reputation for excellence unsurpassed in the community. To learn more about Holy Cross, visit www.holy-cross.com, “like” Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale on Facebook or follow @holycrossfl on Twitter.