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NEWMARKET, Ontario (UPI) —  A first-of-its-kind device called a sutureless aortic valve, used in aortic valve replacement, was successful in a 94-year-old patient, a Toronto surgeon says.

Dr. Kevin Teoh, a cardiac surgeon at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, said the procedure uses a first-of-its-kind device called a sutureless aortic valve, primarily used to treat aortic stenosis, a condition in which the valve narrows and becomes stiff, restricting blood flow out of the heart.

In traditional aortic valve replacement surgery, a damaged valve is replaced with a sutured valve which requires time-consuming and sometimes difficult-to-thread sutures to hold the valve in place, Teoh said. Teoh is one of the first to adopt the procedure in North America.

“For patients considered to be at high risk for cardiac surgery, including the elderly or those who suffer from other conditions such as lung disease, kidney disease or poor heart function, the sutureless valve is a valuable tool,” Teoh said in a statement. “It allows us to perform a very straightforward surgery that reduces the operating time as well as the risk to the patient when compared to traditional sutured valves.”

Southlake is one of only five North American hospitals that have adopted the device, formally called the Perceval sutureless valve by Toronto-based Sorin Group, which is approved for use in Europe but not yet available in the United States, Teoh said.

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