Canadian first: The Department of Surgery implants a new biological aortic prosthesis

June 8, 2021

The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) announces that the surgery department has implanted a new biological aortic prosthesis in a patient, a Canadian first. This cutting-edge medical device reduces the time required for surgery and the risk of complications; thus, patients enjoy a better quality of life.

“Patients requiring such surgery are usually under 65 years of age,” says Dr. Philippe Demers, a cardiac surgeon at the MHI. “This new biological prosthesis allows these younger and active patients to maintain their lifestyle, as it does not require them to take anticoagulant medication.”

Aortic Valve Diseases
There are four chambers in the heart, each with a valve to control blood flow. Of these, the aortic valve controls the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the main artery of the body, the aorta. This valve opens to carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body and closes to prevent it from flowing backwards and mixing with oxygen-poor blood.

Aortic valve diseases occur when the valve in the aorta can no longer open or close properly. Usually caused by a birth defect, infective endocarditis (the inner layers of the heart), aging, or rheumatic fever in childhood, they can lead to heart failure or hypertrophy of the heart, which is an increase in the size of the heart.

The Bentall Procedure
The treatment of aortic valve diseases can be done with medications or medical procedures. Among these, the Bentall procedure is a complex and technical cardiac surgery involving the replacement of the aortic valve and aortic root with a mechanical or biological valve and tube.

On May 31, 2021, Dr. Philippe Demers performed the first Canadian implantation of Edwards’ KONECT Resilia biological aortic prosthesis, approved by Health Canada earlier on December 18. This medical device is the first to be ready to use, meaning that the tube and valve are already assembled, thus reducing the time and risk associated with surgery. 

“Since its inception, the Montreal Heart Institute has strived for excellence in specialized patient care,” explains Mélanie La Couture, President and CEO of the MHI. “With that in mind, we strive to make the latest advances in cardiovascular medicine available to our patients.”

About the Montreal Heart Institute
Founded in 1954, the Montreal Heart Institute constantly strives for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in clinical and fundamental research, ultra-specialized care, professional training, and prevention. It is home to Canada’s largest cardiology research centre, cardiovascular prevention centre, and cardiovascular genetics centre. The Institute is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and has more than 2,000 employees, including 245 physicians and more than 85 researchers. 

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Media Contacts:
Camille Turbide
514 755-5354