New procedure advances aortic valve replacement

MIAMI – A first-of-its-kind procedure is providing patients with a complete aortic valve replacement.

Dr. Allan Stewart, the chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at HCA Mercy Hospital, is the first in Florida to perform the procedure.

“If you look at a heart this red thing here is the aorta and it’s got these branches that give blood to all these vessels in the brain. For a variety of reasons people can get a huge aneurysm here and that is very difficult to fix and in the past required two major operations to be combined about six weeks apart to treat it but what was developed is this little device here which is called a Thoroflex Hybrid graft and this stent, like people put into the heart for a variety of reasons, it’s attached to a graft that sewn in with heart surgery so it’s a combination of conventional heart surgery and the graft together that replaces the entire aorta in well fell swoop,” Stewart said.

Stewart said the Thoraflex Hybrid Complete Aortic Replacement greatly reduces the complexity of the surgery and the risk of major complications.

And restoring hearing loss with hearing aids or cochlear implants has been linked with less long-term cognitive decline and even some gain according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.

The use of hearing aids by adults with hearing loss was associated with a 19% relative reduction in the risk of any cognitive decline compared with uncorrected hearing loss across long-term studies with follow-up ranging from two to 25 years.

A hearing aid or cochlear implant use was also associated with a 3 percent improvement in short-term cognitive scores.

Researchers noted that hearing loss has been identified as a top modifiable risk factor for dementia.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.