2019-03-15 / News

Cardiothoracic surgeon is first in South Carolina to perform aortic valve repair with new device

Contributed by Prisma Health

At Prisma Health Heart Hospital, Cardiothoracic surgeon James Burke, M.D., performed the first aortic valve repair in South Carolina with a newly FDA-approved device. This technology helps standardize valve repair for aortic valve insufficiency or a leaky aortic valve. In the past, most patients who had aortic valve disease required a valve replacement, which carries higher long term risk for patients.

Since valves in the heart are responsible for directing blood flow through the heart, valve disease can cause many complications, including heart failure, stroke, or death.

“We are pleased to be able to add this technology to the other advanced treatments we offer to help patients improve their quality of life. Previously, patients would require an aortic valve replacement to treat aortic regurgitation, but with the new FDA-approved device, we were the first in South Carolina to be able to implant this to repair the aortic valve,” said Burke. By implementing the use of this aortic valve repair device, Prisma Health Heart Hospital continues to advance its ability to provide cutting edge technology for heart patients in South Carolina.

Harold Hutto is grateful for the new technology. Hutto, who recently celebrated his 68th birthday, never wants to slow down. When his heart valve symptoms began to limit his participation in his favorite activities–scuba diving in new waters and riding his Harley motorcycle across the country–he sought help from a cardiologist.

Fast forward 10 years, countless treatments, and many physicians later, Hutto found himself talking to Burke about heart valve disease. His test results revealed leakage from not one but two valves in his heart; his mitral and aortic valve. Due to the severe nature of his valve disease, both required surgical intervention.

Hutto, like many before him, underwent a standard repair for his mitral valve regurgitation. Then, unlike any in the state before him, Hutto received an aortic valve repair with the new FDA-approved device to stabilize his aortic valve. With each procedure, surgeons like Burke work to recreate a normal valve and correct the regurgitation. This kind of development, along with providing the most current treatments, provides more options for patients like Hutto.

Since the inaugural surgery in late October, Hutto’s quality of life continues to improve. In fact, he feels “great.” With cardiac rehabilitation three times a week, he’s working toward getting back to an active and adventurous lifestyle.

“I’ve had a pretty good life. I did a lot up until about three or four years ago. I just couldn’t breathe. But, after having the valves repaired, that’s been really good. I hope to get back to a lot of traveling, a lot of diving, and a lot of motorcycle riding,” said Hutto.

To learn more about Prisma Health Heart Hospital, visit PalmettoHealth.org.

Return to top