Compassion pays off for heart patient


Thanks to an appeal to the federal government, doctors at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center were able to save a man suffering from a heart valve malfunction.

Cardiac surgeons were in the middle of aortic valve replacement surgery when they discovered the traditional method they were using would not work for 75-year-old Jack Menasche.

Cardiologist Scott Lilly said, there are therapies for tight heart valves but not for valves that are leaking.

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“We stopped the procedure and implored the FDA to allow us to try a new valve that is actually a little bit different and is designed specifically to anchor valves that are leaking.”

The medical team made a compassionate appeal to the Food and Drug Administration to use a so-called ‘j-valve.’ There was a considerable amount of paperwork but after 35 days, the FDA approved experts to use the device which has been used in China and Canada.

Doctors inserted the J-valve earlier this month through a catheter in the groin. The procedure is a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Jack Menasche, the patient, is doing well.

This case marks the seventh case of attempting to use the device in the United States and the first time it was done through the groin to replace a previous valve implant.