August 7, 2017 - Patients with severe mitral annular calcification, a condition where calcium builds up in the valve’s ring causing it to be thick and inflexible, are often told surgery isn’t an option. The dedicated team at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano is working to provide them with hope.
“These patients often times have been turned down by multiple surgeons before they get to us,” said Robert L. Smith, II, MD, medical director of cardiac robotics at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano. “Now we can give them hope for an improved life and a longer life.”
As part of its efforts, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano recently completed the first successful combined procedure in Texas that included surgical implantation of transcatheter valve in native mitral annular calcification (SITRAL) and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) using robotic technology.
During the procedure, surgeons treated the patient’s mitral annular calcification by using a robot to replace the mitral valve through a small incision in the chest. They then performed an aortic valve replacement, allowing the patient to have both valves replaced during the same procedure – all without traditional open heart surgery.
“When we use a minimally invasive approach, it has really hastened recovery,” said Dr. Smith. “We’ve seen patients profoundly debilitated with heart failure and, despite that, they have made amazing recoveries.”
The hospital currently has a clinical trial underway, called the SITRAL study, to offer more options for transcatheter mitral valve replacement in those with mitral annular calcification. For those who do not qualify for the study, The Heart Hospital is continually looking to expand options for patients with mitral valve disease who may not be a good fit for surgery.
“For people diagnosed with mitral valve disease, we have other therapies as well,” said Dr. Smith. “Our goal in our mitral valve clinic is to take all of these patients on and attempt to either treat their heart failure or manage their valve disease with an interventional treatment, surgical treatment or medical treatment.”
If you have mitral annular calcification and are interested in the SITRAL study or other treatment options, talk to your physician about a referral to The Heart Valve Center of Texas at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano.
Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Scott & White Health's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano or Baylor Scott & White Health.