Rheumatoid heart disease is a complication of Rheumatic fever caused by infection from the streptococcus bacteria. The valves of the heart are mainly affected which become stiff and incapable of performing their function of allowing unidirectional blood flow from and to the heart. This leads to heart failure and death.
The development of a new heart valve replacement device is a boon for such patients as its surgery does not require advanced cardiac surgical facilities and sophisticated imaging technique making the treatment affordable and reachable to all patients.
The heart valve replacement procedure had already seen a big leap in the last few years with the advent of Transcatheter Aortic valve Implantation approach that does away with open heart surgery.
A team of cardiac surgeons in India have gone a step further in this approach and developed a new valve device that can replace the affected valves without having to stop the blood flow. To top it all it is a self-locating device with tactile sensors and can find its way up to the diseased valves of the heart and get lodged there. The journey of the device up to the diseased valves is slow and controlled with no blood leaking back into the ventricles.
The new device that will soon be available on patients for clinical trials is definitely a hope to many patients suffering from rheumatoid heart disease who cannot afford the expenses of specialist hospitals.
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